Furman University senior Jacqueline Bendrick and University of California Berkeley head coach Nancy McDaniel have received the 2018 Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) Division I Kim Moore Spirit Award. The recognition was announced today on Golf Channel as part of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship coverage.
This award is dedicated to Kim Moore, who played golf for the University of Indianapolis (1999-2003). Kim was an inspiration to all as she persevered through many physical challenges while playing collegiate golf. Her positive outlook and dedication toward the game was only out done by her sense of humor and passion for the game.
The purpose of the award is to recognize and honor a student-athlete or coach who exemplifies a great spirit toward the game of golf, a positive attitude on and off the golf course, a role model for her team and mental toughness in facing challenges.
As a walk-on in the fall of 2014, Jacqueline Bendrick immediately left her mark on the Furman University women’s golf team, as the then-freshman led her team with a final round score of 69 to help give the Paladins their first tournament victory of the season. Unfortunately, it was the last opportunity for Bendrick to compete as she was then sidelined for the remainder of the fall season as she battled vertigo. After concluding her freshman season with a successful spring, she once again led the team to a victory in the fall of her sophomore year, posting a team-best final round score of 68 at the Yale Intercollegiate. Unbeknownst to most, Bendrick spent that final round doubled-over with stomach cramps after a restaurant had failed to accommodate her dairy, corn and soy allergies, a struggle that Bendrick has faced on multiple other occasions but has not let get in the way of her competing.
Bendrick entered the fall of her junior season as the team’s number one player, but began experiencing numbness and coolness in her left arm. The condition worsened and kept her sidelined for the entire fall season, and after months of therapy and doctors visits her condition was finally diagnosed as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a compression of the nerves and blood vessels under the collarbone and can only be corrected with surgery to remove her top rib, a surgery hat Bendrick underwent in January of 2017. The surgery forced her to miss two weeks of class, as well as the reminder of her junior season.
Not only has Bendrick endured these temporary setbacks, but she is also a diabetic and wears an insulin pump at all times. She constantly monitors her blood sugar and deals with the highs and lows the disease brings. Any illness is much more severe, and because of her food allergies it is difficult for her to take over-the-counter medications. Despite all of these hardships, Bendrick has found success on both the golf course and in the classroom.
After rehabbing her shoulder for months, Bendrick was ready to begin her senior season in the fall of 2017. After not playing golf for nearly a year, she managed to play in every event and even had three top-10 finishes, improving her stroke average from 76 in the fall to 73.45 in the spring. Her Golfstat ranking of #150 is the first time she has ever been ranked inside of the top-200. In the classroom, she has maintained a 3.97 GPA as a biology major and has been on Furman University’s Dean’s List every semester. She recently won the Elizabeth Blackwell Academic Achievement Award (awarded to the Furman University female athlete with the highest GPA), the C. Leland Rogers Biology Award (awarded to the student with the highest GPA among biology majors), and the Distinguished Research in Biology Award for her research project studying what causes cancer cells to metastasize.
In August of 2015, Nancy McDaniel was diagnosed with stage 0/1 breast cancer. She received eight months of hormone therapy that was not successful before undergoing surgery in June of 2016, just after the Bears had an individual compete in the NCAA Championship in Eugene, Ore. During this surgery, doctors discovered that the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes and had advanced to stage 3. Amid this discovery and the process of altering her treatment plans, McDaniel’s father suffered a sudden serious stroke, forcing her to postpone treatment to travel to Portland, Ore. to be with her family. Unfortunately, her father passed away in late July and McDaniel returned to California to begin an intense 16-week chemotherapy program.
The 2016 WGCA Hall of Fame inductee continued to coach when possible during this trying time, recruiting at the World Junior Girls in Canada, traveling to Hawaii and Stanford to stand by her team and coach as energy allowed. Her weeks at home with the team would be carefully planned with assistant coach Beverly Vatananugulkit and temporary coach Taylor Babcock in order to be present and as active as possible at practice around her chemo treatments. After wrapping up chemo in December and beginning an eight-week radiation program in February of 2017, she was able to coach and travel with her team to events but would have to miss some rounds due to daily radiation. Finally, the treatments were over and immediately after finishing radiation in March of 2017, McDaniel began a chemotherapy pill that she continues to take to this day. Not giving much attention to possible side effects she coaches with a newfound passion and has returned to her athletic roots in her daily life. After placing second in the Claremont Country Club Polar Bear Challenge, by swimming 20 miles in the first 2 weeks of 2017 and 55 total miles through March, McDaniel has also set a goal to play in the US Senior Women’s Open qualifier in June of 2018.