Golfers' true colors should shine above all else

TRAVIS DAVID

Sports editor

The Indiana High School Athletic Association preaches sportsmanship from not only from fans who attend athletic events but also from schools, coaches and especially athletes.

If Kokomo senior girls golfer Kiah Parrott does not receive a sportsmanship pin from the IHSAA for what she did after Saturday’s final round of the IHSAA State Championships at Prairie View Golf Club, then something is seriously wrong.

Well, there’s many things the IHSAA gets wrong, but that’s another story.

Parrott turned herself in to IHSAA officials after she realized her scorecard, she signed inside the scoring tent outside of hole No. 18, was incorrect.

Her scorecard, which was recorded by playing partner Yanah Rolston of Heritage Christian, had her down for recording a par on the Par 4 No. 10.

Parrott actually carded a bogey on the hole, which would have given her an 18-hole score of 2-under-par 70, instead of a 3-under 69.

Although all three players review their scores with each other and a scoring official at the conclusion of their round, Parrott did not catch the mistake before signing her card.

Once signed and turned in, the score is official.

Any incorrect score, confirmed by IHSAA officials or self admittance by players, result in an automatic disqualification.

It wasn’t until well after she concluded her final round of her prep career, that she realized her score was wrong.

She realized the mistake was made while scrolling through scores on the live scoring app the IHSAA used for the tournament, BirdieFire.

She wrote down a bogey for the hole on her own scorecard, but it’s not the one which is signed and turned in.

“At first I thought the mistake was only on app,” Parrott said. “I did not realize it was wrong on my official scorecard until about an hour and a half after I was done playing.”

No one else caught the honest mistake.

Parrott knew the consequences of signing an incorrect scorecard.

She also knew there was only one thing to do.

“It was not hard for me to decide what to do,” she said. “The only choice I had was to turn myself in. The hardest part was just to swallow it and that’s how I will have to remember my final golf tournament as a high schooler.”

Except, that is not how she should remember her final prep match.

The young lady, who will be playing at Ball State University starting next fall, should be proud of the great example she set for her peers.

What she did on Saturday is what a true role model does.

Parrott carded a 6-over-par 78 on Friday and with the scorecard she signed on Saturday (69), her 36-hole total of 147 would have landed her in a tie for fifth place with Carmel junior Katie Kuc.

Her actual score of 148 would have been good for sixth overall.

But as it stands, to find Parrots’ name on the leaderboard, you will have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page.

And instead of three numbers attached to her name there’s no numbers only two letters, DQ.

The game of golf is based around nine core values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgement.

Without a doubt, Miss Parrott possesses all nine of those values.

Arguably the greatest talent the sport has ever seen, Tiger Woods, coined the phrase: “achievements on the golf course are not what matters the most, decency and honesty are what matters.”

With a school record 18-hole score of 66 and a 9-hole record of 32 to her name this season, along with an 18th-place finish at the state championships last season and 29th as a freshman, Parrott has earned plenty of accomplishments on the course.

But her unselfish act on Saturday should stand above anything else.

Parrott also hopes her mistake will prevent someone else from having to go through the same agony.

“This is the first time this has happened to me and I hope that it’s also the last time I have to experience it,” she said. “I also don’t want anyone else to have to experience it either. I have had a couple people ask me what they need to do to make sure this never happens to them and I made sure to tell them to know they should triple check their scorecard before turning it in.”

I also give props to the young lady for taking the time to speak with me over the matter.

It would have been easy for her to decline my request, as reliving it has to be agonizing as well.

But just as she did on Saturday when realizing a mistake had been made, Parrott did not hesitate in granting me my request.

As I told her, she has definitely earned the respect of this reporter and gained another fan!

Travis David is the sports editor of the Daily Clarion and can be reached at 812-220-4843 or sports@pdclarion.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tdavid_21.

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