Burger King Outstanding Student Athlete: St. Joe's Cailey Rooker
It's Michigan High School Golf State Finals this weekend, and St. Joe's Cailey Rooker is taking her 4th and final trip.
Before she hits the links, let's hear from this week's Outstanding Student Athlete
"I've known Cailey since she's been in 4th grade, and I knew she was a pretty good golfer then,” said her coach Ryan Walters. “It seemed like every year we were waiting for when Cailey would get to high school."
Senior Cailey Rooker has quite the resume for a 17-year-old golfer.
She has played alongside -- and against -- some of the best professionals in the world, including two-time Senior PGA Championship winner Colin Montgomerie.
"I played in the PURZE Insurance Championship through the First Tee at Pebble Beach and I was paired with him,” said Rooker. “We were a team, so we played at Pebble Beach in Poppy Hills and that was really fun."
This summer, Rooker was one of two amateurs that played in the Four Winds Invite as part of the Symetra Tour with the LPGA.
"Playing alongside them showed me what the collegiate level looks like compared to me, and it was a great learning experience,” said Rooker.
"Cailey doesn't take a lot of time off, even in Michigan where it's hard to practice year-round,” said Walters. “She plays numerous tournaments out of state and travels all over to try to play against the best competition. If people saw how hard she worked, they'd realize that's really why she's as successful as she is.”
On top of those experiences, her high school team accomplishments are equally as impressive. Rooker is a 3-time regional champion, is a 4-time state qualifier and placed in the top 15 her freshman through junior seasons.
This weekend, Cailey will play her final rounds of golf for St. Joe at the Michigan State Finals.
“It's a really good experience to have with your team, and the competition there is much more competitive than we have in our region,” said Rooker. "I've had to sacrifice a lot of my high school career because golf is such a passion of mine. In doing that, I know it will pay off in the long process and I'm confident this is the weekend it will pay off for me."
"I've gotten along the path more recently of seeing the potential in myself,” continued Rooker. “My goal this school year was to break 70 and I have two more chances to do it. I've come close with a 72, but I know I can do it. I think this is the year to do it.”