More Than Just A Game: Passion For Golf Drives Local Teen to Succeed
For most golfers in the U.S. Kids Teen Championships, playing golf at Pinehurst Resorts will be a new experience.
One golfer, Hailey Crider, will be right at home.
Crider, a Moore County resident, is one of 300 participants representing more than 20 countries competing in the three-day tournament which began Thursday in Pinehurst on courses No. 2, 5 and 8.
Crider began her first round of the three-day event, Thursday at 12:55 p.m. On Wednesday she was able to get in 15 holes of a practice round before severe weather brought an abrupt halt to play.
"My practice round went good, I can't complain." Crider said Wednesday, after she was off the links. "The course is playing a little slow because of the humidity and then the storm hit, but I can't wait for the tournament to start. I feel really confident in my game."
Crider, 13, attends West Pines Middle School and has lived in Moore County for nine years. She has been playing golf for only two years now, but already has major aspirations.
"My goal is to earn a full golf scholarship."
The youngster practices at National Golf Club but plays a majority of her golf at Little River. She was introduced to the game by Tom Parsons, the head golf professional at National.
"I need to give credit to Mr. Parsons for always making it fun," she said, "and making sure that I always have a smile on my face. What I enjoy most about golf is the competition -- it's about me and the golf course.
Although still relatively new to the sport, Crider has a good feel for what it is she does best while out on the golf course.
"My irons and my shot off of the tee box are definitely my strengths," she said, "but my greatest asset as a player is my desire and my passion to learn the game and to have a great time playing the sport. My short game has come a long way but it still needs work."
She definitely seems to have superior taste when it comes to picking professional role models.
"I admire Tiger Woods the most for his determination and work ethic," she said. "He trains his mind, his body, and his spirit. I also admire Paula Creamer, for making the sport look good and having the game to match."
When not swinging the sticks or fine tuning the flat stick, Crider has an array of other activities that keep her busy.
She plays on a 15-and-under girls' classic soccer team and is very much involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA.)
"I play piano and I love to draw. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends."
The final round of competition begins Saturday at 7 a.m.
Contact F.W. Manning by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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