When Pinehurst rolled out the green carpet August 3, for just over 350 of the nation's most elite high school male and female golfers for the National High School Invitational, Wesleyan Christian Academy rising senior, Macie Burcham, was one of just over 110 girls settling in for the three-day event. This national event is recognized by professionals in the golf industry as the pinnacle of high school golf.
"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to represent Wesleyan this year at the National High School Invitationals," says Burcham. "I'm especially excited the event is in Pinehurst this year as I have many special high school golf memories from our fall trips to States in Pinehurst."
Burcham earned the invitation to the Pinehurst event after finishing third in the 2019 NCISAA State Golf Championship. While they are excited about this outstanding accomplishment for Macie, her coach and teammates are not too surprised by Triad Golf Today's number one ranked female junior golfer.
According to Wesleyan Varsity Girl's Golf Coach Jaime Cebollero, "Macie Burcham is one of the most stoic and talented players I have coached in 15 years of coaching. Golf is a game that will take a bite out of you on any given day and I have watched Macie keep her composure in some very difficult situations. She is the quintessential golfer, with skill beyond her years."
Gabriella Cruz, a Wesleyan team member who is North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association's (NCISAA) #9 ranked varsity girls golfer alongside Burcham at #3, says of her teammate, "I am super excited for Macie to compete in this elite tournament. She has worked so hard for this and is always so encouraging of everyone on the team. She absolutely deserves this opportunity." Burcham and Cruz led their team to a #3 state ranking in 2019 and #5 in 2018, the highest in Wesleyan's varsity girl's golf team history.
Burcham's success has not come without challenges. After finishing 2019 as the #6 ranked Junior female golfer in North Carolina, Burcham endured a five-month setback after knee surgery in January of 2020. Even with this delay in training and play, Burcham still managed to maintain her rankings, and remains in the top 10 in N.C.
This summer, after recovering from surgery, Macie has finished seventh in the Peggy Kirk Bell's (PKB) Coastal Carolina Classic (Myrtle Beach), first in the PKB Bryan Park (Greensboro, N.C.), 11th in the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA) Twin States Tournament (Dataw Island, S.C.), 11th in the Dogwood State Junior (Greenville, N.C.), and 11th in CGA Carolina Girls (Asheville).
Jeff Burcham, Macie's father, adds, "Macie has worked very hard on her golf this summer and we are excited to return to Pinehurst again this time for the National High School Invitational. Wesleyan Christian Academy and the Girls Varsity Golf program have been a great experience for Macie and have helped her grow in numerous ways athletically, academically, and spiritually. We are so appreciative of their support of girl's golf and the life lessons the game of golf teaches."
The Pinehurst Invitational will host more then 350 male and female junior golfers hailing from public and private high school programs throughout more than 40 states. The event will be played on Pinehurst's No. 6, No. 8 and No. 9 courses. Please keep Macie in your prayers as she competes in the last round of the tournament Wednesday, August 5.