The Women’s Golf Coaches Association has announced the 2020 WGCA Kim Moore Spirit Award recipients for Division I. Due to the uniqueness of the 2019-20 season as a result of COVID-19, the WGCA has decided to recognize recipients in each of the three following categories: a player, a coach and a team.
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.
Carly Burkhardt, Furman University
Shortly after helping Furman reach the 2017 NCAA Championships as a freshman, Burkhardt was diagnosed with a very rare disease: aplastic anemia. She spent the summer in the hospital, fighting through the flu, adverse reaction to medicines, and a routine procedure that turned life-threatening. She was forced to miss her sophomore season in 2017-18 but battled back in time to help the Paladins kick off the 2018-19 season with a first place finish at the Lady Paladin Invitational. However, tragedy struck again as her sister Kathryn passed away from a complication due to a rare neurological disorder, and after being diagnosed with PTSD Burkhardt took the remainder of the season off. After much counseling and hard work, she returned to golf in the fall of 2019, playing in four of five events and ranking second on the team in stroke average at 72.9.
Carly Burkhardt acceptance video: https://vimeo.com/413198859
Page Marsh, Head Coach, North Carolina State University
During North Carolina State’s second tournament of the 2019-20 season, Marsh received a phone call saying that her husband George had passed away suddenly. She immediately made her way back home and took the remainder of the fall season off. However, just a few short months after this tragedy, she returned to coach the Wolfpack for the spring season. Despite her grief, Marsh returned with poise, choosing to bring positivity and light to her team. Before the season was cut short, she led North Carolina State to top-10 finishes in two of the team’s three spring tournaments, finishing the season with a sixth-place finish at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate.
Page Marsh acceptance video: https://vimeo.com/413199385
University of Toledo Women’s Golf Team
After a fall season full of hope and development, the University of Toledo women’s golf team faced the first of many challenges heading into the spring season. Freshman Caroline Kane, who had undergone season-ending hip surgery just one week before her collegiate career was set to begin, lost her father unexpectedly. The team rallied behind her, and with the support of her teammates and friends she returned to campus. Then, during the team’s practice round prior to the second tournament of the spring, senior Thupijja Sukkasem was admitted to the emergency room with abdominal pain so severe she was unable to walk. She was determined to play, so after being discharged from the hospital she managed to play one round before having to withdraw due to the pain. A few days later she returned to the hospital and was found to have an infection, requiring 10-14 days to recover. As this was going on, senior Saranlak Tumfong discovered curious bruising in her mouth and on her body during the final round of the same tournament. After returning home, a blood test revealed that she had Acute Myeloid Leukemia and she began chemotherapy treatments a few days later. Less than a week later, after much discussion and a blessing from Tumfong, the team traveled to the Jackrabbit Invitational with only four healthy team members and one coach, determined to play for their teammates that were sidelined. The Rockets closed out the tournament with their best round and finished in 12th place before the 2019-20 season was cut short two days later.
Head Coach Jenny Coluccio acceptance video: https://vimeo.com/413197816