For all the amazing comebacks of the first weekend of college football, no story was better than that of Jake Olson, the blind USC snapper who got into the Trojans’ win over Western Michigan. Blind since age 12, Olson still managed to snap a perfect extra point, and not a dry eye was left across all of college football.
Now, we’re starting to learn more about Olson, and every story is better than the last. He told Dan Patrick on Monday morning that he’s an extraordinarily good golfer, too. Olson said that he was a good golfer before losing his sight at age 12 to cancer.
But he held onto the game, relying on muscle memory and his father to hone his performance. He’d watched Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines in 2008, and played for his high school team even after losing sight in both eyes.
“It’s a lot of work,” Olson told Patrick, “Going out there, understanding, ‘that was a shot that was good, that was a shot that was bad.'” Olson’s father sets him up for the shot, putting the ball at the center of the clubface, but from there, it’s on him: “The ball’s just sitting there to be hit.”
Olson plays well enough that he shoots in the 70s, an impressive achievement for anyone, much less a blind player.
“It’s probably a disparagement of the game of golf when you get beat by a blind guy,” he laughed, “but oh well.”
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.
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