by Colvin Hedgepeth and Caleb Barron, AJGA Communications
The Killington Junior Golf Championship is a 54-hole stroke play competition played on the par-70 Green Mountain National Golf Course. The event features 108 boys and 35 girls, ages 12-18, from 15 states and four countries.
Fresh off the Tee
Casey Farmer had big plans for this season. As a rising junior, the 16-year-old packed the summer with tournaments to start down the collegiate golf path on the right foot. However, a hazardous health diagnosis delivered in March brought all golf swings screeching to a halt. Farmer addressed a recurring pain in her shoulder; doctors detected a benign tumor, apparently common among teenagers and young adults. A girl who had never swallowed an Advil pill in her life suddenly found herself rushing into surgery and confined to a 16 week, club-free recovery.
While she avoided cancer, the Farmer family couldn’t avoid the disappointment and uncertainty of her ability to play golf. Doctors focused on limiting the possibility of tumors reoccurring, as Farmer hoped for a speedy rehabilitation through physical therapy.
“Golf is part of her identity, and playing in college has always been her goal,” Casey’s father, Kevin Farmer said. “This experience has definitely been motivational for her game.”
Farmer surprised everybody by returning to full strength after just ten weeks of treatment. Her fighting spirit and young age allowed her to overcome the tumor and bounce back well under time-par. She planned on competing in the Qualifier series to earn a place in the Killington Junior Golf Championship, but received a call a week ago with an opportunity to fill in a withdrawal spot. After numerous delays prematurely stalled her AJGA career, she finally had the chance to return to the field this week. For Casey Farmer, the bottom of the cup at Green Mountain National Golf Course sounds oh so sweet.
Casey Farmer tees-off on No. 11. The rising junior completed her comeback bid at the Killington Junior Golf Championship.
History Writes Itself: Green Mountain National Golf Course lives up to its name. Sloping terrain and ubiquitous forest surround the course and provide challenging playing conditions. This should be no surprise to history buffs: Vermont means “Green Mountain” (Vert=Green, Mont=Mountain) in French.
Welcoming Committee: Although Killington, Vt., only has 900 residents, the town provides a large volunteer base, with 20-25 people pitching in each day. Green Mountain National Golf Course General Manager David Soucy says anytime there is a cause in the community, the town unites to make the event successful. This week, junior golfers were greeted by hotel and restaurant marquees welcoming them to Killington.