a.m., Sept. 11)
By grad enjoying life on the links at Florida university
By Fred Sherwin
Colonel By Secondary School student Breanne Williams is about to attend
her second year at Webber International University in Florida on a golf
scholarship. File photo
Breanne Williams can hardly believe her good fortune. A year ago she was
getting ready to attend her first year at Carleton University.
An avid golfer
she had lowered her handicap to 15 the year previous and was hoping to lower
it even further to try and land a scholarship south of the border.
Just prior to
the end of August, however, she scored a 79 at an event on her home course
in Rockland. Bouyed by how well she had done she went home and decided to
start e-mailing resumes to several American universities mostly in Florida
had told me that the schools start putting their teams together early
in the year for the following year, says Breanne.
Within a couple
of hours she started receiving a handful of responses and to her surprise
some of them were interested in having her transfer in January. Needless
to say, Breanne never got to got to Carleton.
First, she had
to decide on which offer she should accept and ended up picking Webber International
University in central Florida which is one of the top business schools in
the United States.
Besides the schools
reputation, Breanne chose Webber because of its proximity to Haines City
where her brother, who is an excellent golfer in his own right, played a
tournament on the universitys home course.
Her family has
also been going to Florida every Christmas, so in other words, everything
started playing golf when she was 14-years-old. Both she and her mother
took up the game at the same time.
like it at all. I wanted to quit after the first year. I just didnt
get it, says Williams.
Williams had a friend who often went golfing with them and who wanted to
keep golfing so she kept golfing too. In September she posted the second
lowest score among the female competitors at the National Capital East Conference
Golf Tournament with a 103.
Her game improved
slightly the following summer to the point where she didnt want to
quit anymore and that fall.
It was during
her third summer on the links that everything started to come together for
the young golfer. Despite not taking any lessons she lowered her handicap
from 30 to 18.
improving through the summer of 04 and scored an 86 at the high school
tournament in her final year at Colonel By. At about the same time she started
thinking about the possibility of getting a scholarship to play golf south
of the border.
to a few people I knew who had gotten scholarships and they told me that
I needed to get my handicap even lower, says Williams.
To that end she
practiced every chance she could last spring and summer and played almost
every day. The hard work started to pay off almost immediately. She was
the only female member from the Outaouais Golf Club to make it to the final
round of the Ottawa Citizen Lady Amateur Tournament and wound up finishing
28th. She was the youngest girl competiting.
A few weeks
later she finished third at the Junior Girls City and District Tournament.
But the tournament that made her finally decide to go for it was the Ray
Haines Fun Tournament at the Outaouais. She shot a 44 on the front nine
and then 35 on the back nine for a 79. It was the first time she had ever
broke par over nine holes. In fact, she could have easily shot a 34 on the
back nine, but she was so nervous on her final birdie attempt she left her
three foot putt several inches short.
The final nine
holes was all the motivation she needed to start sending out her resumes
and the rest is history. And while she's not on a full ride scholarship
at Webber, the cost is about the same as it would be if she had gone to
As for her golf
game, Williams injured her wrist during her second tournament and ended
up playing hurt the rest of the year. The sore wrist also forced her to
change her swing and not for the better.
until she came back to Ottawa last spring and started working at the Orléans
Golf Academy on St. Joseph Blvd. that she met an instructor with the Danielle
Nadon Golf School who started to get her swing back to where it was.
Once again the
results were immediate. Playing in her second year at the Ottawa Citizen
tournament she finished 14th out of 111 golfers after shooting a 76 during
the final round on the Talon course at Greyhawk.
back in Florida preparing for the start of the collegiate golf season which
gets underway next week. Webber International is part of the Florida Fun
Conference which is midway between Division II and Division III.
really excited. Im really looking forward to having a good year,
says Williams who as a sophmore is the veteran on the young seven member
team along with her friend and fellow sophmore Carrie Rowe. Shes also
the only Canadian on an otherwise all Flordian team.
Asked what other
budding young golfers might learn from her experience, Williams simply says
they should go for it.
I did it
because I wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted to see how far I could
go, says Williams who is another shining example of what happens when
talent and opportunity.
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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