It was a beautiful day just outside Chattanooga for the East Tennessee Golf Regional at the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay golf course. Over 70 athletes and Unified Partners from East and Middle Tennessee participated in Thursday’s event that featured skills sessions, individual 18-hole, Unified 18-hole, individual 9-hole and Unified 9-hole competitions. In Level 5, Individual 18-hole, it was three familiar faces teeing off against each other: Nathan Cheverton, Ryan Triplett and Andrew Williams. Cheverton won this round, shooting an 84.
“It’s an honor as I’ve only played three times this year,” said Cheverton on winning gold. “It feels pretty good.”
Cheverton, who represents the Smoky Mountain Region, has been playing golf for most of his life.
“I’ve been playing it since I was young,” said Cheverton. “When I started walking, I got golf clubs. It’s my life. I’ve been doing it all my life. The golf course is like heaven to me. It’s peace of mind.”
Cheverton has grown up with golf at the front of his mind. His favorite golfer is Tiger Woods and two of his favorite courses are Bear Trace at Harrison Bay and Sevierville Golf Club. When he’s playing, Cheverton enjoys being challenged as well.
Last year, Cheverton also had the opportunity to be a part of Team Tennessee at USA Games in Orlando. There, he competed at the Orange County National Golf Center. Special Olympics has provided him an opportunity to experience golf courses all around the state and even the country. But, he does have a dream of where he wants to golf sometime in his life.
“I want to go to World Games sometime,” said Cheverton. “And, I want to play in Scotland.”
Those are aspirations that could no doubt come true. Cheverton is an incredible representative of his community and is a tremendous competitor. He’s tough on himself when he’s competing because he expects his best every time he’s on the course.
But, when it comes down to it, the best part about competing at Special Olympics events is seeing friends and spending time with his fellow golfers.
“It’s a family,” said Cheverton. “I like hanging out with them and seeing them at every event.”
Cheverton wants everyone to be able to experience what he does on the course and hopes that more people start playing golf. All you have to do is try.
“Just try it,” said Cheverton. “Pick up a club and play.”
Learn more about golf with Special Olympics Tennessee here.