Ten year-old Fortville Elementary student Ressie Lemmon has worked hard and recently achieved the experience of a lifetime. In early April, the young golfer traveled to Augusta National Golf Club for the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, ultimately placing fifth overall in the nation for her age group. In the individual events, she received third in putting, sixth in driving, and sixth in chipping. It was a long process for Ressie to earn her spot in the competition: first competing in the local qualifier, then subregional and regional. As the winner, she moved on to Augusta.
When asked to describe her experience, Ressie replied with simply, “The best thing I’ve ever seen.” Her mother described it as a blend of Disney World and heaven for golfers. Not only was Ressie able to display her skills at Augusta, but she was able to meet and watch several famous golfers play, including Bubba Watson and Justin Rose. She also met Lou Holtz and Condaleezza Rice.
Ressie has been playing golf for many years now, after following in the footsteps of her older brother, Elijah. Ressie and her siblings (Elijah, 12; Nellie, 8; and Winnie, 3) have formed a strong connection through golf with their grandfather, Tom Kirby, --or “Papaw” to Ressie and her family. In fact, he has recently joined Mt. Vernon High School as the boys golf coach. Evidently, golf runs in the family blood: the older three Lemmon children have all played competitively resulting in several successful achievements. Last year, they competed at the U.S. Kids World Championship in Pinehurst, and all three Lemmon children finished in the top 20.
Explaining her training routine, Ressie shared that in the summer she tries to play as much as she can, playing at the course 3-4 times a week, and in the winter she practices in her basement every day. Evidently, her hard work has paid off. She also shared her goals for the future. “I plan to play in the women’s amateur when I’m old enough, and go to the Worlds at Pinehurst this year again.” Mt. Vernon is proud to be supporting young athletes like Ressie, and wishes her and the entire talented Lemmon family the best of luck in their golf journeys!
Photo credits - Drive, Chip, and Putt