Success on the Fairway: Former Blue Hose Women’s Golfer Celia Mansour Reflects on Big South Individual Title


Former Blue Hose women’s golfer Celia Mansour out on the fairway. ©PC Athletics

Mitchell Mercer, Editor-in-Chief

Throughout the history of college athletic programs, it can take one individual to change the reputation and culture of how that program is perceived. In addition, one person can allow the school to get more resources, recruiting options, and attention to the team overall.

For the Presbyterian College women’s golf team, one individual made a substantial difference that can still be felt five years later.

Celia Mansour (‘18) is looking upon her current five-year anniversary of winning the 2017 Big South Women’s Golf Championship. It was the first program title in PC history, and Mansour was named to the Big South Women’s Golf All-Decade Team as a result for her success on the fairway.

Even though it was an amazing accomplishment that no Blue Hose player had ever done before, in retrospect, Mansour feels that it was more of a team victory.

“The weird thing is that even though it felt good at the time, I never felt it as an individual win. Obviously, everyone was cheering and congratulating me, but my vision was how we can do it for my teammates as well. My view on winning was much different, just because I wanted my team to win,” Mansour said.

To get to that viewpoint, Mansour’s journey started all the way back in her native country of France.

Growing up, her family was always active in playing golf throughout the week, which ultimately brought her into the sport that ended up providing her with many opportunities.

“I started playing golf when I was about nine years old. The reason I started playing was because of my dad getting a free golf lesson as a kid and him being active with the sport. Shortly after, my mom and brother got involved with golf and it got to the point where it became a family activity. Every Sunday, we all went to play, and eventually, I started to get some lessons and had a really good coach who saw potential in me and wanted me to start taking it seriously,” Mansour said.

After some practice, several of Mansour’s coaches saw the strong potential in the future Blue Hose golfer. As a result, Mansour participated in several national golf tournaments throughout France that put her on the map, most notably with the opportunity of being placed in a boarding school where she focused mainly on golf and academics. 

Furthermore, Mansour was selected to represent the French national team in the European Golf Championship, which attracted the eyes of several college coaches from the United States, opening the door for continuing her golf career outside Europe.

“It was definitely the high years of my golf career, which made me want to go to the U.S. At the time, I thought that there was potential to turn professional. So when my high school career was done, I wanted to go since it was the best place to do school and work, which wasn’t necessarily in place in Europe since golf wasn’t that famous,” Mansour said.

But her collegiate golf career didn’t exactly start in Clinton.

Mansour began at the NAIA-based school Williams Woods University in Missouri since she wanted to learn more English and didn’t want to begin her college career at a major university.

During her freshman year with the Owls, she led the team with an average score of 72.13, won her collegiate debut at the CMU Fall Eagle Open with a three-under 141, and received additional honors at the American Midwest Conference Championship with a score of 142.

For her sophomore year, Mansour had her best performance yet with an eight-under par at the Fall Boone Hospital Center Invite and won the CMU Fall Eagle Invitational with a score of 138.

However, she wanted to be challenged in her golf game more. The good news is that she found that challenge.

Shortly after, Blue Hose coach Kasy Holbrook took notice of Mansour’s accomplishments at Williams Woods and eventually got Mansour to sign with the Blue Hose, most notably as being the number one player and captain for the team.

“Coach [Holbrook] loved me in the sense that I would be their number one player at PC, I would be the team captain, and be the one to try and get the school to break records that hadn’t happened before. So I was really up for the challenge, and that is why I ended up at PC,” Mansour said. “I felt really comfortable with the overall environment. As soon as we started team practice, I got along really well with my coach since she was lovely, and everyone else was so friendly to me. One thing that I really liked was how our team practices were playing, having fun, and getting to know everybody on the course, as well as bonding with your teammates.”

From there, her golf game took on a whole new level.

During her junior year, Mansour achieved the greatest success of her golf career so far, shooting a Big South and PC record of 207, which allowed the France native to earn honors at the 2017 Big South Women’s Golf Championship and become the first golfer in Blue Hose history to earn All-Conference and All-Tournament honors.

In her senior year, Mansour played in five fall tournaments, receiving two top-10 finishes, and led the Blue Hose with a score of 222. For her hard work, she was named the Big South Conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned All-Conference honors for the second consecutive year.

However, the current times were catching up with Mansour despite playing golf for the majority of her life.

Dealing with situations with injuries, the responsibility of being a team captain leading girls, and overall stress in being successful, Mansour believed that it was time to hang it up after graduating with a business degree from PC.

She would eventually make her way back to Europe and now resides in London where she earned a master’s degree in digital marketing and is now working for a big tech corporation in the marketing field.

Even though she is in a new chapter in her life, Mansour plays golf occasionally with her family whenever she is not working or when the weather in England isn’t miserable.

“In terms of golf, I still have my golf bag. I don’t really get to play often since the weather in England can be bad, but I do have plans to do a pro-am in October with my family. We are also trying to do a lot of golf trips soon and making some memories as well,” Mansour said.

While she feels that her golf game didn’t change much during her time at PC, Mansour believes that playing for the Blue Hose helped her become a much better leader and person outside the fairway.

“Technically, I really don’t think I improved much during my two years at PC, but I really improved in the game itself by playing, coming up with strategies, working on my mental edge, how to deal with good and bad days where your technique was not there, and that was something my coach was really good at emphasizing. I definitely grew as a player, and my performance showed it during my two years at PC,” Mansour said.