Welber and Dolan are 'one-one' golfing punch for Bears

Kelsey Welber and Catherine Dolan make up a formidable duo for the MSU women's golf team. They are both in their second year as team captains.

Missouri State has listed its inductees into the athletics hall of fame for 2020, including a staple of the university’s golf program: Catherine Dolan Brady. Brady was a member of the Bears team from 2008-12, but her love for golf has deeper roots. Golf has always been a vital part of her life.

“I came from a golfing family, so I was always around the game,” Brady said. “But when I turned 13, I really decided I wanted to seriously start playing. I started with nine-hole tournaments then gradually worked my way up to 18 holes.” 

Brady began her career in high school where she attended Parkway West High School in Ballwin, Missouri, about 20 miles from St. Louis. Brady went on to win the Missouri state championship for the Longhorns her senior year and looked to continue her career in college.

It only took one campus visit for Brady to make her decision.

“I always had the dream of golfing in college, and after several months of communicating with Coach Kane, we planned a weekend for my parents and I to visit,” Brady said. “After meeting the team and taking a tour of campus, I felt at home. By the end of that weekend, I gave my verbal commitment and never looked back. MSU always felt like the perfect fit for me.”

She instantly made an impact on the team as a freshman, an impact that head coach Kevin Kane remembers well.

“She tied for first in her first college tournament, so it obviously didn’t take long,” Kane said. “For a freshman to do that right off the bat was pretty remarkable.”

Brady was a bright spot on the Bears squad, but it wasn’t just because of her performance on the course.

“She’s one of the best competitors I’ve ever coached — really knew how to grind and dig deep, really disciplined and worked hard — someone who set a good example and pulled everyone together,” Kane said.

Brady’s mental toughness was one of the many reasons she thrived as a Bear. She is one of 11 golfers in Missouri Valley Conference history to earn all-conference honors all four seasons and was voted MVC Newcomer of the Year in 2009. 

Kane discussed how much a person like Brady can mean to a program.

“You can’t have a good team without good leadership and she provided that, plus she’s obviously a great player,” Kane said. “She was the total package — everything a coach would want.” 

Brady’s name is all over the MSU record books. She finished her collegiate career with 15 top-10 finishes, tied for third in 18-hole scoring (69) and fifth in 54-hole scoring (218). Brady finished fourth in career scoring average (76.7479), fifth in season scoring average (75.97) and was a three-time MVC player of the week. 

While Brady had plenty of memorable results throughout her college career, she said one stood out more than the others.

“Winning the Rio Verde Invitational my junior year was pretty memorable,” Brady said. “I was in such a zone, and the hole felt huge. Both of my parents were at the tournament with Coach at the final green when I sunk the putt to win. It was such a special moment. I can still feel the nerves I felt when standing over the final putt.”

There are 400 members in the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame, and Kane said he realizes how special it is Brady is one of them. 

“I’m really proud of her and glad to see her be recognized for all her hard work,” Kane said. “It’s gratifying to see someone who wasn’t that highly recruited develop into such a great player over her time here.” 

Brady and the other five 2020 inductees will be recognized at the annual induction Feb. 21-22 during halftime at the men’s and women’s basketball games.