Judge Bans 10-Year-Old Girl From Playing Golf

The young golf prodigy is apparently a victim of her parents' custody battle
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2016 2:15 PM CDT
Updated Jul 3, 2016 3:30 PM CDT
Judge Bans 10-Year-Old Girl From Playing Golf
"Did anybody ask the child if she wants to play?"   (Shutterstock)

Deadspin has a bizarre story about a Virginia judge banning a 10-year-old golf prodigy … from playing golf. The unnamed girl has won 11 of the past 12 youth tournaments she's played in and even took first place in an all-ages women's competition. "She's really good," says Kris Tschetter, a former pro who's given lessons to the girl. "Like, really, really good." But the girl has also been the subject of a seven-year custody battle between her parents. At the most recent hearing this month, which the girl's father, Michael Vechery, participated in without a lawyer, Judge Jeanette Irby ruled the girl can't play in any tournaments or get lessons from pros for one year. She's also prohibited from playing more than one round of golf per week with her father.

Irby's ruling doesn't make it clear why the girl—who's said she may want to play professionally one day—was banned from golf, and Irby declined to comment for the Deadspin article. But she's not the first judge to address the girl's golf playing. "Maybe she will be the next female version of Tiger Woods," another judge said in a hearing last November. "I don't know, don't really care." Tschetter, who says the girl is already good enough to play college golf, calls the ruling "negligent": "Did anybody ask the child if she wants to play?" The father of the world's top-ranked 11-year-old golfer says Irby is essentially taking away the girl's shot at a college scholarship and calls the ruling "unreal." Vechery says he plans to appeal the ruling, and the PGA is helping him find a lawyer. But it could take 10 months to get another hearing, so the ban is likely a reality for his daughter. Read the full story here. (More golf stories.)

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