Chandler signs golf scholarship with UAB
Fri. December 07, 2012 at 8:14 p.m. | By Andrew Carroll
Northside's Rebecca Chandler, a three-time Tuscaloosa News Spring Sports MVP for girls golf, will play UAB next year. (Photo by Dusty Compton)
TUSCALOOSA | Rebecca Chandler knows she’ll never achieve a perfect round of golf, but there are rewards for being dedicated to a difficult sport.
Chandler earned one of those rewards — a college scholarship. A senior at Northside High School, Chandler signed to play for Alabama-Birmingham.
"This is one of the best days," said Chandler, who participated in a signing ceremony Friday at Ol’ Colony Golf Complex. "It’s just an awesome opportunity. I feel so blessed. Everything I’ve worked toward is finally paying off. Just having my family and friends here to support me makes it all even more worthwhile."
Chandler was introduced to golf by her father, but she admitted she didn’t like it. As a teenager, she attended a University of Alabama golf camp, and she enrolled in First Tee of Tuscaloosa, a program designed to teach youths the game of golf and to build life skills.
"I was awful," Chandler said. "I always used to play other sports, and I would always be OK at those. I wanted to be good at it. I just worked hard until I could make that happen."
Chandler said she couldn’t recall a breakthrough moment because golf provides constant challenges.
"The thing about golf that’s different from other sports is that there are breakthrough moments every day," she said. "You can’t just wake up one day and be good. Over time you can always get better. You can never be perfect. That’s the one thing I really like, how every day is a different challenge and you can really just get better every day. There’s not a best. It’s just the best you can be that day."
Chandler was a freshman when she qualified for the AHSAA Class 1A-5A tournament and placed 11th individually with a two-round total of 171. A year later, she placed seventh and earned All-State recognition. She posted rounds of 82 and 78 for a 160 total. She shot a 79 in the section and regional tournaments to place third in both.
She finished her junior year by placing 12th in the state tournament, shooting a 179 on rounds of 93 and 86. She shot a 77 in the sub-state tournament and posted a 2-under-par 70 in the sectional at Cullman.
Chandler, who has been chosen three times as the Spring Sports MVP for girls golf by The Tuscaloosa News, will play for Kim Wilcox at UAB.
"The coach there is awesome," said Chandler, who is thinking of majoring in business. "The whole coaching staff is amazing. I really liked the campus and the people and just how I felt whenever I went on my visit."
Even though she has already signed, Chandler said she wants to stay motivated for her motivation for her senior season.
"I want to impress and make sure they know that they got someone good," she said. "But it’s definitely a stress relief to know where you’re going."
Reach Andrew Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0223.