Last year, a judge banned a 10-year-old golf prodigy from competitive golf for 12 months. The strange ban has ended, and the young lady is back to her winning ways.
Loudoun County Judge Jeanette Irby’s strange and unexplained ban placed on a 10-year-old in a custody case has ended. In spring of last year, Irby ordered the child of divorced couple Michael Vechery and Florence Cottet-Moine of Virginia to “not be permitted to play competitive golf” for one full year and also not be allowed to be given lessons by anyone other than the child’s father. The young lady also was only allowed to play non-competitive golf once per week or spend only five hours weekly using practice facilities.
The 10-year-old is considered a prodigy and had won 11 of her last 12 tournaments prior to the custody battle case and subsequent ban from competitive golf. The child was not asked by the judge her thoughts or feelings on the matter, nor did the judge explain why she ordered the ban, which came just as an eight-year-long custody battle finally ended. The father, who has custody of the girl, believed that the ruling was not fair and was ordered as a way of punishing him. Vechery attempted to appeal the court order but was denied.
During the court proceedings, former Ladies PGA tour member Kris Tschetter and others said that the child was so good of a player that she could easily already play at the collegiate level. As if to prove the point, the prodigy, who is now 11 years old, picked up where she left off, winning a tournament in her age group shortly after the ban expired on May 2.
After her triumphant return to competitive golf, the 11-year-old went on to win six of her next seven tournaments, placing second in the only tournament she did not win during that span. Over Labor Day weekend, she placed second again in a regional tournament in New Jersey, losing only to the reigning U.S. Kids Golf Canadian world champ.
The young golfer should be commended for not losing sight of her goals, even though a court decision set her back. Whether she will become the next female Tiger Woods, only time will tell. But the courage she’s shown through this tough ordeal is certainly reflective of a player who has a heart of gold and what it takes to become one of the best.