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article imageGolfer sacrifices self for opponent

By Michael Bearak     May 5, 2010 in Sports
Grant Whybark is a sophomore at St. Francis University and his story will gain no notority or fame for the sacrifice he made to a fellow competitor.
Athletes tend to be programed to destroy their opponents, coaches tend to make comparisons to warriors, and discussions about how they are finely tuned athletes and to always go for the kill. Grant Whybark was in that same situation with an individual championship on the line.
For Whybark, a sophomore at St. Francis University, he was guaranteed a trip to Nationals because his school had qualified by winning the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship as a team. Still, Whybark was in a playoff for the individual championship with Seth Doran, a Senior at Olivet Nazarene. It was Doran's last collegiate tournament.
Whybark then did what for many would be considered the unthinkable. He essentially threw in the towel to let Doran win the individual championship.
Whybark, on the first playoff hole, hit the ball some 40 yards right of the fairway, clearly out of bounds. Whybark would end up with a double-bogey, while he watched a senior in what might have been his last tournament hole out with a par to win the championship and earn himself a spot in the national tournament.
Sports Center probably won't pick up this story. Some people would say Whybark was foolish for throwing away a chance at an individual title that he might never have again. Others might consider it the ultimate sacrifice, something that stories and legends are made of. Whybark was going to play in the national tournament, as a member of St. Francis University. He didn't need the individual championship, except as a piece of hardware to go on the mantel.
What Whybark did was provide someone he felt was worthy and deserving of the opportunity to continue playing a game that he was passionate about. If Doran doesn't end up on a professional tour, Whybark has given him one last hooray, one last chance to live part of the collegiate dream.
More about Golf, Collegiate golf, Nationals, Grant whybark, Seth doran
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