One tough golfer

Shelby Stinnett contending after accident
Aug. 29, 2013 @ 02:22 PM

A couple days after her car went off the road, Seymour’s Shelby Stinnett was back on the golf course.

Now, less than two weeks later, she’s contending for a county championship.

“I was surprised she played that quick,” said Eagles coach Gary Householder. “She probably should’ve taken a few more days off. She comes from a tough family. Her family’s all been football players. They play hurt, so she’s been playing hurt.”

Even hurt, Stinnett has turned in some pretty good golf at the McNelly-Whaley Sevier County High School Golf Championship. She fired a tournament-best 39 on Wednesday on the par-35 front nine at Creekside Plantation. That placed the junior, who is competing in as an individual, five shots behind Seymour teammate Katelyn Witucki, who had a 40, for the girls lead. Even without Stinnett, the Eagles have a 29-stroke lead over Gatlinburg-Pittman after two rounds. The tournament concludes today at Sevierville Golf Club at 3 p.m.

Stinnett’s accident happened as she was leaving the Creekside championships a couple weeks ago. A quick burst of rain made the road slick and her car ended up in a ditch after going around the corner. She was sore with a busted lip but she didn’t want to let her teammates down. She played in a match a couple days later.

“If it were me, I probably wouldn’t be (out there right away),” Witucki said. “I like that she’s trying and trying to be back out there.”

Stinnett fired 47 on Tuesday at Gatlinburg Golf Course, but had a strong start Wednesday. She parred the first three holes to build up her confidence.

“I felt like I was back on track, just moving my body like I should’ve been,” Stinnett said. “Everything was smooth.”

Householder said Stinnett’s short game seemed to be most affected by the accident, but he saw her play well on Wednesday. The junior had developed more distance off the tee and better putting before she was hurt. While the Eagles have plenty of depth, getting Stinnett back at full strength would be a plus.

After Wednesday, maybe that day isn’t too far off.

“Hopefully (today) will be good and hopefully I’ll win,” she said.