Thursday, March 30, 2017

Yost takes unlikely path to leaderboard

PHOENIX – Kaylin Yost took the most improbable route into contention Thursday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Her story goes beyond being a Monday qualifier this week.

Yost, who opened with a 5-under-par 67, quit golf near the end of 2015. Frustrated, she left the Symetra Tour late in her rookie season, ending up 154th on the tour’s money list with $1,551 in earnings. She took a job with JetSmarter, a private charter jet company.

“It’s like Uber for jets,” Yost said. “Really cool company.”

As much as Yost loved the company, she missed golf and decided to get back into it last summer.

“I only played golf four times (while away),” Yost said.

So Yost spent last year trying to Monday qualify in LPGA and Symetra Tour events. She failed to make it to the final stage of LPGA Q-School and is Monday qualifying again this year.

But, there’s a lot more to her story.

Yost was born with a pair of dislocated hips. She spent the first 16 months of her life in a body cast. Doctors told her family she wouldn’t ever walk.

“Had two major surgeries, and I’m walking today,” Yost said.

When Yost was 2, her family learned she was hearing-impaired. She wears a pair of hearing aids today.

Yost isn’t sure what events she will get into this year, but she knows she will be playing in the Deaflympics.

“I’m going to represent USA in Turkey,” Yost said.

With a good week at the Founders Cup, Yost’s options might open a lot wider. With all she has already overcome, she is sure to win a lot of new fans this week.

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