Last year we relayed the story of a 10-year-old golf prodigy that was caught in the crosshairs of a curious custody battle. The fight between the parents, at that juncture, had gone on for seven years, and the father -- the girl's golf coach -- went into the latest hearing without a lawyer. For reasons that remain unknown, Virginia Judge Jeanette Irby took issue with the 10-year-old's golf habits, banning the phenom from tournaments and severely limiting her access to the game.
"[Child] shall not be permitted to play competitive golf for one year," said Judge Irby. "Competitive golf is defined by the court as no tournament and no lessons with any golf pro with the exception of the father. The father and [child] may play no more than one round of golf per week for five hours with putting and practice whichever is greater."
The father asserted the ruling was aimed at him and unjustly punished the girl, as she was not asked her feelings on the matter. He worried the girl's progress -- she had won 22 of 33 tournaments in the previous two seasons -- would be erased.
However, the ban was lifted in May, and according to Dave McKenna in a piece for Deadspin, has returned to kicking butt and taking names.
McKenna writes that the girl has won six of seven tournaments entered, finishing in second in the other contest. Former LPGA player Kris Tschetter told McKenna the child's good enough to play collegiate golf already, while Lee Trevino -- who gave the girl a lesson -- called the now-11-year-old's swing "perfect."
Whether she turns into the next big thing or not, we're just happy this child gets to enjoy the game unencumbered once again.