Anything you can do ...
Sibling rivlary simmering on UNC-Pembroke golf teams
Walking with and watching his son Jordan play the seventh hole at the Country Club of Salisbury in North Carolina on March 8, John Walor got a short text message.
“I told Jordan in-between holes that it looked like Shauna was going to win,” said Walor. “[Jordan] had a little smile but at the same time you could tell he felt a little pressure. He didn’t want to be outdone by his sister.”
A day later the family had a second tournament title to celebrate. March 7-9 will certainly be three days to remember for the Walors.
Shauna, a sophomore for the Division II University of North Carolina-Pembroke’s women’s golf team, shot rounds of 78 and 77 at Savannah Quarters Country Club on March 7-8 to earn medalist honors by a shot over teammate Dana Watkins and Columbus State’s Nikki Crowley.
March 8-9 saw Jordan, a junior for UNC-Pembroke, shoot 3-under-par 149 and earn medalist honors with a playoff victory against Carson Newman’s Gavin Hay. It was his fifth career win and first since claiming the 2010 Peach Belt Conference title.
Jordan winning a golf tournament is no surprise. At Wake Forest Rolesville High, he won 10 titles. Considering her brief time on the golf course – at least playing – Shauna’s trip to the winner’s circle might not be as expected.
“I was surprised when she won,” said Jordan, the Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year two seasons ago. “But I’m not surprised she’s picked up golf so quick. She’s a good athlete and she has a natural golf swing. She’d been close [to winning] a few times but it was pretty cool to get the news while I was playing.”
In her next start, March 21-22 at the Wingate Pinehurst Challenge, Walor was one shot out of medalist honors for the team champion Lady Braves. Her brief collegiate career already includes six top-10 finishes, including four in the top 5.
“It’s more than I could ever hope for,” said John Walor. “She has blossomed into a nice Division II golfer. I really never envisioned her winning a tournament. But she’s worked really hard.
“Considering how much she didn’t like golf to where she is now shows the ability she has.”
If it weren’t for Jordan, Shauna would probably never have taken golf seriously.
John and Kelly Walor decided New Hampshire wasn’t the best place for the 14-year old Jordan to hone his golf skills. The family packed up and moved south.
“I was pretty mad at first,” admitted Shauna, who played field hockey, softball, basketball and a handful of other sports. “It was different. We had to leave our family and I didn’t know anybody [in Wake Forest, N.C.]. I pretty much hated golf.”
“I always felt kind of guilty, leaving her at home when I went and played after we moved,” said Jordan. “One day I told her she was coming with me.”
That was Shauna’s freshman year of high school.
“I don’t know what happened,” she said. “[Golf] started to be relaxing and frustrating at the same time. I enjoyed hitting my driver, and being [with Jordan] on the course was nice because he didn’t have to invite me.
“I had played some, but I started to like it a lot more.”
David Synam, coach of both the men’s and women’s golf teams at UNC-Pembroke took notice.
“Actually [Shauna] was recruited before me,” said Jordan. “It was like ‘oh, you have a brother?’”
As a freshman, Jordan had a team-best 72.7 stroke average. He won two titles and had eight top-20 finishes on his way to PING D-II Honorable Mention All-America status and PBC Freshman of the Year. As a sophomore, his average was a conference-best 72.6.
“Jordan picked up a plastic club at a very early age and I noticed he had a nice little swing,” said John Walor. “When I went to play he always wanted to go with me and just always enjoyed it so much. In the New England area, your practice time is limited so we thought about going south to see what happens.
“Jordan didn’t get the attention we thought he might after being in North Carolina for a while, he kind of slipped through the cracks. Shauna was always known as Jordan’s brother [in New Hampshire] so it was kind of funny at first when he was known as “her brother” when they got to [Pembroke].”
UNC-Pembroke sits an hour south of Pinehurst and less than two hours from Raleigh and Chapel Hill.
Golf is big in that part of the country, but college basketball rules.
“Once you go to Cameron Indoor you can’t help but become a Duke fan,” said Shauna.
“There is a lot of great golf around here. Jordan got to play the U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst in 2007 and we got to watch some of the U.S. Open (in 2005),” said John, a self-admitted average golfer. “The family change we made couldn’t have worked out better.”
The UNC-Pembroke men return to the course Monday. The Lady Eagles are off until the PBC Championships, Apr. 11-12 in Savannah, Ga.