Girls golf

Crown Point golfer notches ace in Bulldogs practice round

2012-08-07T18:30:00Z 2012-08-08T04:30:10Z Crown Point golfer notches ace in Bulldogs practice roundBy Hillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | Zoie Matthews had turned around already when she heard the fellow members of her girls golf team yelling to her.

She'd taken a routine shot off the 14th green at Youche Country Club and was returning her eight iron to her bag during a practice round with the Crown Point team.

As her ball disappeared on the green, teammates stood in disbelief at the hole in one they'd all just witnessed.

"I hit it kind of fat, it hit a hill, then it bounced to the left on the green, then rolled into the cup. It was unbelievable," Matthews said, unable to contain a smile. "My teammates said, 'it went in, it went in,' I didn't believe them at first."

"The ball bounces on the green and I looked and said, 'holy crap, girls, that's going to go in,'" coach Jon Haas said. "It was really, really cool. I get goosebumps talking about it."

Matthews, one of two seniors on the team, is her squad's No. 4 golfer. She was talked into giving golf a try by her aunt three years ago after returning to the region from Arizona.

"I love playing golf, it's really fun to just go out there and play," Matthews said. "The team really encourages me and I love playing with the team."

Spending time outside and walking a golf course is recommended less for a player like Matthews than the average golfer. In 2009, Matthews was diagnosed with Lupus, an incurable disease with symptoms that include fatigue and joint pain and stiffness.

Two months after Matthews was diagnosed, her mother died of lupus. Matthews spent four months in the hospital before moving to live with her aunt in Crown Point.

"My medicines control it, but it's hard sometimes, I get fatigued really easily," Matthews said. "I'm really not supposed to be in the sun. (Golf) is something I like to do and I make sure everything is regulated and I'm careful out in the sun. A lot of water and a lot of Gatorade."

Maintaining her spirit and leadership has helped make her an asset to the Bulldogs golf team, Haas said.

"She's overcome a lot of personal and physical obstacles to get out here and compete," Haas said. "She's always got a smile on her face when she's around a teammate. She tries to pick other people up when they don't play well.

"She's one of those players that wants to make sure  everyone else is doing well before she cares about her own accomplishments."

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