Feature on Carol Robertson by the Virginian Pilot on Sept. 15, 2010
Sept. 17, 2010
Beach couple to play for U.S. titles - 1,300 miles apart by Rich Radford
Next week, when they head off for a huge weekend of golf, Jason and Carol Robertson will pull out of their driveway in Virginia Beach a little before 4 a.m.
Their suitcases and golf bags will be packed, and they will drive to Norfolk International Airport.
That's where this journey -- or should that be journeys? - will get a bit tricky for the husband-wife team.
Jason will drop Carol off for her flight to Wichita, Kan., site of the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur, a national tournament for players 25 and older.
Jason will then point his car in the direction of the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel and be on his way to Long Island, N.Y., site of the U.S. Men's Mid-Amateur.
In a fluke of scheduling, the 27-year-olds - married a little more than two years - both qualified for their respective national championships. And both events are held during the same days: Sept. 25-30.
They'd like to be rooting for one another and would more than likely have caddied for one another. Instead, they will be texting the all-important question: How'd you play?
"I really thought she had the better chance to qualify and that I'd caddie for her," said Jason, who works for Taggart Global, which specializes in the construction of coal processing plants. "I'm a little stunned I qualified."
In a local qualifier, Jason shot 3-under 67 at Elizabeth Manor in Portsmouth to grab the second of two slots available. Virginia Beach's Roger Newsom earned the other spot with a 65.
People in the local golf circle probably know a thing or two about Jason. He played on a pair of state championship teams at Cox High in 1999 and 2000, then headed for James Madison, where he had a top-10 finish in the 2003 CAA c hampionships.
Carol, whose maiden name is Green, met her husband while at JMU. She has the more regal golf pedigree, having won the Women's State Amateur in 2006. A two-time Player of the Year in the CAA, she spent two years playing professionally on the Duramed Futures Tour before applying to renew her amateur status.
For Carol, qualifying for her mid-amateur meant flying to Atlanta because she did not regain her amateur status until Sept. 5. By then, most of the local qualifiers for the event had already been played.
She showed up at Rivermont Country Club in Johns Creek, Ga., on Sept. 7, vying for 1 of 5 spots and shot 77, good for second place.
As timing would have it, next year's U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur will be at Bayville in Virginia Beach. While she was playing professionally, she called Bayville her home course.
Rather than wear James Madison colors when she plays now, she dons Old Dominion's blue and silver: A month ago, she accepted an offer to be the assistant men's and women's golf coach.
While Jason played it low-key talking about his spot in a national USGA event, his wife was dreaming big for him.
"If he wins the thing, he gets to play in The Masters," said Carol, who grew up in Tazewell in the southeast corner of the state.
Jason took a deep breath and grinned.
"That's a little far-fetched," he said. "One step at a time."
Yep, about as far-fetched as a husband and wife qualifying for their respective national championships.
Rich Radford, (757) 446-2463 firstname.lastname@example.org