Northview senior golfer Lexi Knight is driven by a competitive streak unmatched by most other young golfers that she goes up against.
Knight, a 2017 state qualifier, has been the medalist at each tournament she has golfed in this season. Knight became a four-time champion of the Northwest Ohio Girls Golf League when she shot a 73 last Thursday at Detwiler Golf Course.
Northview coach Andy Fox said Knight's demeanor changes out on the golf course.
“Every time she stands on a tee box against an opponent or with her teammates, she wants the low score in the group, and against everyone else in the field,” Fox said. “She has a tenacity and competitiveness that you just don’t find too often in high school girls golf. She never, never wants to lose. It has made her the player she is.”
Knight has placed first at the Eagle Invitational, Sylvania Invitational, the Defiance Invitational, and the NWOGGL event this season.
“I'm really competitive,” Knight said. “I really like to win. I just always want to do well every single time I play. I just have this motivation to win.”
Knight's 18-hole tournament average this season is a sparkling 72.6. She also has a nine-hole match average of 37.2.
Fox said putting is the strongest part of Knight's game right now.
“She is arguably one of the greatest scramblers I have ever seen,” Fox said. “She is never out of a hole and can make par from anywhere. She also has unbelievable confidence in her putting stroke. Every putt she stands over she thinks is going in. If the swing isn’t cooperating that particular day, the putter can save her and save the round for a low number.”
As both a sophomore and junior, Knight placed fourth at sectionals and at districts. She helped the Wildcats qualify to districts as a team both seasons.
“Lexi is the heart and soul of the team,” Fox said. “Due to her commitment and competitiveness, her teammates want to get better and help the team win matches and tournaments.”
Fox credited another coach, John Eckhart, who also has worked with her extensively, for helping her improve her game. Fox said Knight exhibits a calm demeanor despite her fiery approach.
“She is a leader of the squad through the good and the bad,” Fox said. “She always wants to perform at her best for her teammates. She is resilient and her teammates recognize that and let go of a round when it is over instead of dwelling on the past.”
Northview won the Northern Lakes League team title last fall as Knight placed second with an 81. Knight followed that with a 76 at sectionals and then a 75 at districts. She then placed 47th overall at the Division I state meet when she carded an 81.
Knight said she first started golfing when she was 5 or 6. Her parents are members of Highland Meadows Golf Club.
“I've grown up around the game,” Knight said. “It's a getaway for me. It's a great way to meet new people. Some of my best friends are from golf.”
Knight said she has always been pushed by her older sister Ashley, who won a district title and finished 15th in the state while she was a senior at Northview in 2016.
“I've always had to live up to Ashley,” Lexi said. “She's always been a really good golfer, so I've been compared to her. Playing on the same team as her, I always wanted her to do well. But I always wanted to do a little better. It was really good for us. We made each other play better. We always rooted for each other too.”
Fox said the most impressive thing about Knight is what she does off the course. She has a 4.52 grade-point average and scored a 35 on the ACT. Knight wants to go into pre-med, though she is undecided about what college she will attend and whether she will continue playing golf.
“She is an incredible student-athlete, with 'student' being the first and foremost descriptor,” Fox said.
Knight said her goal this year as a senior is to qualify for state once again.
“I hope to get it done at districts and play a lot better at states,” Knight said.
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