Learning to swing a golf club in a big Texas backyard has earned a local young lady an opportunity for a college education.
“We lived in Texas when I was young and I started playing in our backyard,” explained Brittani Pederson. “My dad retired from Motorola and we came here when I was 8. We have family here, so he bought B&B Marina.”
Having already wrapped up her senior season at Walker Valley, Pederson inked scholarship papers with Tennessee Wesleyan College, a Top 25 NAIA program.
“Her best golf is ahead of her,” declared Lady Mustang coach Bob Williams. “She has gotten better each year. With the opportunity to practice daily, year-round, she will get even better.”
“I’m always tickled to be able to send a player to my alma mater and coach (Stan) Harrison will do a great job with her,” Williams added.
“I’ve watched her scores improve the last couple of years and she has a lot of drive about her,” assessed Harrison, whose Lady Bulldogs have been to three of the last five NAIA national tournaments. “Not only is she a good player, she also has the qualities we look for academically and as a person, with strong character and values.”
With losing a pair of seniors off of this year’s team Harrison has now signed Pederson and Abby Dukes from Hardin Valley to fill those vacancies.
“I really liked what I saw (at TWC). Being a smaller school, it’s more private,” Pederson expressed. “I have really enjoyed playing here (at Walker Valley) and I know I’ll enjoy playing there (TWC).”
Enjoying the game of golf early, she started playing competitively in the sixth grade. “When I was in the eighth grade I played in the state tournament,” the senior linkster related. She was also a member of the 2011 TSSAA state runner-up Lady Mustang squad and just missed out on a return trip to this year’s state tournament as district champion Walker Valley got edged in a playoff with Cookeville for the region title.
Playing mainly on the Chatata Valley and Cleveland Country Club courses locally, she is also familiar with the Springbrook course where Tennessee Wesleyan plays. “That’s the course McMinn County plays on, so I’ve played there many times and enjoyed it,” she related.
“I’m excited to get this opportunity to continue to play golf in college, especially for such a good program,” commented Pederson.
TWC not only offers her an athletic opportunity, but the Athens school also has the academic program she wanted.
“I’m going into health administration and I will also be able to get my master’s (degree) in business,” Pederson explained. “I’ve been wanting to go there (TWC) ever since I found out what all they offered. I feel like it really fits me and what I am looking for in a college.”