The Special Olympics Tennessee Middle Tennessee Regional Golf Tournament was held on Monday, August 15 at Old Fort Golf Course to determine who would qualify for the state tournament on September 19 at Smyrna Golf Course.
Jeremiah Doane from Greater Memphis Area 2 qualified after tying for second in the Level 5 division with a final score of 93. He was all smiles both during and after the event as he talked about how excited he is for the upcoming state tournament.
“I expect to do what I usually do, and that is to go out and kick butt,” Doane said with a joking yet serious smile on his face. "But at the same time, I try to stay humble in the sport.”
“Humbleness is what got me here and being humble is what got me all of these great friends,” Doane said as he gestured to all the nearby athletes that had competed.
Doane also said that he would give his performance about a five on a scale of 1-10.
“Old Fort is challenging, it’s got some narrow holes, and you can easily get into trouble,” Doane said. "But you can easily get out of trouble as these guys saw today. If I were to shoot anywhere else today, I would probably shoot about my average which is an 85 to 88."
Doane had multiple shots that saw him get out of really tough positions and into approachable putts. He gave himself a chance to save par on 16, 17 and 18 after using timely chips to counteract some shaky tee shots, including a couple of exquisite approaches out of sand traps.
When asked about what he loves the most about these competitions, Doane took a big sigh, gazed out looking at the other athletes, and mumbled “you had to ask that,” with a choked-up smile beaming across his face.
“What I love most about it isn’t the golf, it’s all this,” Doane said as he turned to gesture towards the large group of athletes still milling about. “Friends, fellowship…golf has basically saved my life in more ways than one,” Doane continued as a tear started to form in his eye, “and I would trade the competitive edge just to have a friend at the end of the day.”
This was very evident out on the golf course, as in between shots, Doane would be congratulating fellow golfers and thanking different media members that came out to watch all while maintaining his competitive edge when it was his time to shine.
“Oh and one more thing,” Doane said. “Yes, I shot a 93 and I know people would look at that as ‘I had a crappy day, I’m done. I’ve said that so many times, I’m not done!” Doane exclaimed as laughter escapes from his mouth. “I love this game too much, and I love the friends and the fellowship too much.”
Doane hopes he can keep up his success at the state tournament, which will be held on September 19 at the Smyrna Golf Course.