HR: Ray learns to handle adversity like a pro

The Round House | 09/09/2022 10:28:00

Bryce (Schroeder) Ray estimates she clocked 30,000 miles on her white Toyota Camry in 2022 while golfing in the United States.

Every mile, every dollar, every podcast is worth it.

“It’s an explosion,” she said. “It’s a lot of growth and a lot of independence. You have to be ready to make sacrifices. But the competition and being able to play every week is just breathtaking. I love the competition.”

Ray, who golfed at Wichita State from 2012 to 2016, competes on the Epson and Womens All Pro tours. In her most recent tournament, she finished first among female pro golfers (second overall) at the Utah Women’s Open in Lehi, Utah. She also has three other top 12s under her belt, including a tie for 11e in the Heritage Classic at Rolling Hills Country Club in July.

After missing the cut in three tournaments earlier in the spring, Ray found new confidence by listening to old advice. Traveling without a coach and teammates forces her to solve problems on her own.

“Learning to deal with my failures,” she said. “Coach (Tom) McCurdy always talked about this in college – how to deal with your misses. It never really clicked, personally, until this year. If you miss it, you know where you’re going. miss and you can go up and down. My top-down game is really solid.

Ray, from Pueblo, Colorado, delayed his professional career to complete his dental hygiene education at Wichita State. After moving to Phoenix to jump-start his golf career, COVID-19 canceled qualifying school. She worked as a surgical dental hygienist from October to February before concentrating on golf.

“Since I took up my clubs around the age of 12, that’s all I ever wanted to do,” she said. “Once I got to college, I needed to find a career to fund a golf dream. It’s been so delayed and it’s nice to finally be able to play.”

In Wichita State: Ray earned All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in 2013, 2014, and 2016. In 2013, she tied for second in the MVC Championships. She played on three conference championship teams that qualified for NCAA regionals.

Ray received MVC Scholar-Athlete honors in 2015 and 2016 and was an All-American in women’s college golf in 2015.

Keep us updated on your current location and life status:
I live in Colorado and am pursuing my dream of playing professional golf on the Epson and Womens All Pro tours in the United States. I’m married to an amazing God-fearing man who’s a real estate agent here in Colorado.

What was your major at Wichita State?
Dental hygiene.

Why did you choose Wichita State?
I chose Wichita State primarily because of Coach Tom McCurdy.

He is a God-fearing family man who has the most amazing core values ​​and cares about his team just as much as he cares about his own family. He always did everything he could to help us become better individuals.
I also loved the atmosphere and the amazing golf courses in the area such as Flint Hills, Terradyne, Crestview, Wichita Country Club and Willowbend where we played each week.

I also chose Wichita State because I was close enough to my hometown to vacation with my family. I am very close to my family.

Apart from the sport you practiced as a Shocker, what was your favorite sport?
I love golf and it’s my life, but my other favorite sport is bodybuilding. I got my bodybuilding pro card in the bikini division last September. I love being in the gym and lifting weights and I love that it’s something I can do in addition to golf. I plan to participate in the Arnold Classic and the Olympia in 2024.

Who was your favorite teacher at Wichita State?
I have two. Professor Kelly Anderson from the Department of Dental Hygiene and Professor Shirlene Small from the Department of Sociology.

Which teammate helped you adjust to college life?
It’s the easiest for me.

Her name is Meghan Jack (formerly Meghan Schuetz). She’s the coolest person I’ve ever met, and if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am today. We’ve been through more challenges than I can even remember and she means the world to me.

We talk all the time and she is still my best friend to this day.

What are your fondest memories of college athletics?
One of my favorite memories dates back to my first season as a Shocker, when I went for a par 5 over two, where the green was across a large pond that I had to carry. I hit the green, but the ball came back into the water. The coach (McCurdy) was there with me and I remember asking him if he thought I could kick him out of the water and we both agreed that I would be able to put a club on the ball and to get the ball out without having to take a drop.

Before shooting, I asked the coach if he wanted to film it and he did. I mean how cool is that! The coach was always doing things to help and encourage us and that always stuck with me because you’re not supposed to take your cell phone out during a tournament.

It wasn’t the prettiest picture in the world, but I still watch the video and smile.

My other favorite memories are of playing Flint Hills in the fall when the leaves were changing and they had the course decked out with fall decor. It was so beautiful!
Swimming in the clear waters of Hawaii my freshman year where we played the University of Hawaii course on the Big Island was an amazing experience.

Watching the Shockers basketball team in the Final Four with my team during a rain delay at a tournament we were in Arkansas was so exciting.

My God, I have so many amazing memories both in and out of golf! I loved my time at WSU and miss my daughters so much – Meghan, Ale, Ale, Danni, Maddie, Gavy, Sammi and Taryn made my time there such a blessing.

One memory I laugh at but don’t miss is trudging through the snow to practice in our indoor facility in the winter and the hot coffee we brought would be cold within an hour.

What advice would you give to someone starting their sports career at university?
Be prepared to make mistakes and fail sometimes. Be ready to put yourself in your shoes. Be ready to learn not so pleasant, but valuable life lessons, and be ready to make memories and friends that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

The freshman year of college is a year to make your mistakes, learn from them, and learn from them. I made more mistakes than I thought possible. Don’t be afraid to fail in your sport because now you’re playing on a much bigger stage and there are a lot more demands placed on you than when you were in high school. Enjoy the journey of your sport.

Be sure to show up on time for everything. It means to be 15 minutes earlybecause I learned that being on time is actually late.

Respect authority and accept criticism from your coaches and peers and learn from it. It took me two years to learn this lesson and I would have saved myself a lot of headaches if I had learned this sooner. Most importantly, enjoy every day, good or bad, because it goes so much faster than you think.

What book would you recommend to current students?
The Bible for many obvious reasons.

A book that I have always enjoyed reading is “Golf In The Kingdom” by Michael Murphy. It follows one man’s deepest fears on the course and how he overcomes them with the help of his caddy and friend Shivas Irons. It’s a great reminder that you can’t do things in life alone and that it’s extremely important to have people close to you who can support you.

The other book I would recommend that is a very short read is called “Raving Fans” by Ken Blanchard. It’s an eye-opener on how to succeed in business and in life by learning the importance of respect and listening.

Paul Suellentrop covers Wichita State Athletics and the American Athletic Conference for college strategic communications. “Catching Up” is a regular feature highlighting former Shockers. Suggested story? Contact him at [email protected]

Teresa E. Burton