GREENVILLE, S.C. – Furman senior Jacqueline Bendrick has received the 2018 Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) Division I Kim Moore Spirit Award. The recognition was announced today on Golf Channel as part of the NCAA Women's Golf Championship coverage. Watch Bendrick's interview with Golf Channel here.
This award is dedicated to Kim Moore, who played golf for the University of Indianapolis from 1999-2003. Kim was an inspiration to all as she persevered through many physical challenges while playing collegiate golf. Her positive outlook and dedication toward the game was only out done by her sense of humor and passion for the game.
The purpose of the award is to recognize and honor a student-athlete or coach who exemplifies a great spirit toward the game of golf, a positive attitude on and off the golf course, a role model for her team and mental toughness in facing challenges.
As a walk-on in the fall of 2014, Bendrick immediately left her mark on the Furman women's golf team, as the then-freshman led her team with a final round score of 69 to help give the Paladins their first tournament victory of the season. Unfortunately, it was the last opportunity for Bendrick to compete as she was then sidelined for the remainder of the fall season as she battled vertigo. After concluding her freshman season with a successful spring, she once again led the team to a victory in the fall of her sophomore year, posting a team-best final round score of 68 at the Yale Intercollegiate. Unbeknownst to most, Bendrick spent that final round doubled-over with stomach cramps after a restaurant had failed to accommodate her dairy, corn and soy allergies, a struggle that Bendrick has faced on multiple other occasions but has not let get in the way of her competing.
Bendrick entered the fall of her junior season as the team's number one player, but began experiencing numbness and coolness in her left arm. The condition worsened and kept her sidelined for the entire fall season, and after months of therapy and doctors visits, she was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a compression of the nerves and blood vessels under the collarbone, which can only be corrected with surgery to remove the top rib. Bendrick underwent the surgery in January of 2017 and was forced to miss two weeks of class, as well as the reminder of her junior season.
Not only has Bendrick endured these temporary setbacks, but she is also a diabetic and wears an insulin pump at all times. She constantly monitors her blood sugar and deals with the highs and lows the disease brings. Any illness is much more severe, and because of her food allergies it is difficult for her to take over-the-counter medications. Despite all of these hardships, Bendrick has found success on both the golf course and in the classroom.
After rehabbing her shoulder for months, Bendrick was ready to begin her senior season in the fall of 2017. After not playing golf for nearly a year, she managed to play in every event and even had four top-10 finishes, improving her stroke average from 76 in the fall to 73.45 in the spring. Her Golfstat ranking of #150 is the first time she has ever been ranked inside of the top-200. Last week at the NCAA Regional Tallahassee Regional, Bendrick posted the best three-round total of her career by shooting -7 (71-68-70=209) for a ninth place finish, helping seventh-ranked Furman finish third at -18 (280-283-283=846) to qualify for the 24-team NCAA Championships, which will be held May 18-23 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
In the classroom, she has maintained a 3.98 GPA as a biology major and has been on the Furman Dean's List every semester. She recently won the Elizabeth Blackwell Academic Achievement Award (awarded to the Furman University female athlete with the highest GPA), the C. Leland Rogers Biology Award (awarded to the student with the highest GPA among biology majors), and the Distinguished Research in Biology Award for her research project studying what causes cancer cells to metastasize.
About the Women's Golf Coaches Association
The Women's Golf Coaches Association, founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization representing women's collegiate golf coaches. The WGCA was formed to encourage the playing of college golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition. Today, the WGCA represents over 600 coaches throughout the U.S. and is dedicated to educating, promoting and recognizing both its members and the student athletes they represent.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information