First Flight’s Schuster triumphs at Pinehurst

Just a few weeks after she captured the North Carolina Junior Girls’ Golf Championship, First Flight High School’s Katherine Schuster has taken the title at Girls’ North & South Junior Championship in Pinehurst, N.C., which concluded on July 3.

The 16-year-old from Kill Devil Hills shot a one over par 217 for the three days of the event, beating Honolulu’s Karissa Kilby by two strokes. She fired a 74 in the last round of the tournament.

Schuster’s trophy case is getting crowded. She boasts a very impressive resume that also includes winning the prestigious 2018 National Drive, Chip and Putt Competition at the storied Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia and capturing two high school state individual championships in 2017 and 2018.

In achieving her remarkable success on the fairways and greens, Schuster has had to overcome physical challenges. She has endured several surgeries to correct problems that have resulted from a genetic disorder called Multiple Hereditary Exostoses. Those surgeries included removing non-cancerous bony tumors from both legs and correcting a difference in the length of her two legs.

In an interview done several years ago, Schuster said she was inspired to take up golf after watching the 2014 Drive, Chip & Putt competition on television, the same tournament she won four years later.

“I want to try that…for real,” she remembers thinking. “Then when I hit the ball square for the very first time, something just clicked and a light switch turned on.” The rest is history.

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