Perseverance pays off
Epilepsy does not hold Indianapolis' Pittard back
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Indianapolis sophomore Regan Pittard is unique. Not because of her playing style or how she dresses on the golf course. It’s because she has epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a common and diverse set of chronic neurological disorders characterized by seizures.
Pittard found out she had epilepsy her freshman year of high school after experiencing a number of seizures.
“During that time I had to wait longer to get my licenses and I had to go on medication, which was a big change for me,” Pittard said.
Since then, Pittard has used golf as a stress-reliever.
“I’ve never had any episodes on the golf course. Golf has actually made it less prevalent,” Pittard said. “It’s kind of like a stress reliever, which is ironic since it’s such a stressful game.”
Pittard’s year includes winning the conference championship and taking runner-up at regionals.
After shooting a 15-over 87 on the first day of the tournament, Pittard came back with a 2-over 74 for a total score of 161, which has her tied for 49th in the 2013 Divison II Women’s Golf Championship.
Her coach Brent Nicoson says that Pittard doesn't act any different because she has epilepsy.
“She’s a great girl,” Nicoson said. “She doesn't use [epilepsy] as an excuse and she doesn't think that she’s different.”
Nicoson has Indianapolis in seventh place after shooting 20 shots better on Day 2 (301) than Day 1 (321). That 20 shot difference was the highest of any team in the 12-team field.
Despite Pittard never having a seizure on the golf course, Nicoson has had some scares in his two years of knowing her.
“It’s scared me a couple times. I’ve gotten calls a couple times in the middle of the night,” Nicoson said. “On the golf course we’ve never seen it, thank goodness, but she’s told us what to do in case it does happen, but the only place we’ve seen it is in the dorm room.”
Last fall Pittard tried to get off of the epilepsy medications, but a seizure forced her to get back on. Despite having to take medication on a daily basis, Pittard said that she has gotten used to it and she knows that it’s not going away.
“It’s a part of me,” Pittard said. “I’ve learned to deal with it.”
Indianapolis tees off Friday in round three starting at 9:50 a.m. ET.