The phone calls weren’t easy to make, but they had to be done. One result of these calls would be disqualification. Ashley Armstrong would have to surrender her only AJGA champion’s trophy. The other possible result could be disastrous – the loss of a college scholarship offer.
No matter the implications, Ashley was determined to do the right thing.
Just over a year ago, Ashley won the AJGA Junior at Notre Dame by one shot, or so she thought. That same day, she was offered a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame. Life was great until she discovered a problem. She had signed for an incorrect score, which had caused her to be awarded the championship when she should have gone to a playoff.
The call to the AJGA tournament director resulted in the expected DQ. The call to the Notre Dame coach went better than imagined. Ashley was told that because of her actions, they wanted her even more.
Ashley isn’t the first person to lose a golf tournament because she signed for an incorrect score. It’s not even the main reason she was presented the 2010 Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award. Ashley also happens to be a straight-A student, a two-time HP Scholastic Junior All-American, and the AJGA’s leading fundraiser in the 2010 Leadership Links program.
“During all those golf tournaments, we learn that golf is so much more than birdies and pars and fairways and greens and championship trophies,” Ashley said during her acceptance speech Sunday night at the Rolex Junior All-America Banquet. “It’s also about honor and integrity, about following the rules, and about doing what’s right, regardless of the consequences.”
That’s what golf is all about, and it is what the Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award is all about.
– Rob Coleman, AJGA Chief Communications Officer