WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Kaylin Yost is looking to take another step in her improbable march toward her LPGA dream.
Yost is playing the Kingsmill Championship on a sponsor exemption this week.
Yost, 25, caught the attention of tournament staff with her play at the Founders Cup in March, her first LPGA start. She made it into the field through a Monday qualifier.
Her story wowed fans there.
Yost was born with a pair of dislocated hips requiring two major surgeries. She spent the first 16 months of her life in a body cast. And then when she was 2, her parents learned she was also hearing impaired.
“She is 100 percent an inspiration,” said Dan McCarthy, who is based at Grande Oaks Golf Club in Davie, Fla., and has been Yost’s swing coach the last 14 years.
Yost, who plays with two hearing aids, will represent the United States at the Deaflympics in July. Her LPGA quest has been a tough, winding track. A five-time winner at Campbell University in North Carolina, she was the Big South Player of the Year.
Out of college, Yost made it onto the Symetra Tour, but she left frustrated late in her rookie season, ending up 154th on the tour’s money list. She took a job with JetSmarter, a private charter jet company, and worked there until the urge to try professional golf again became unbearable last summer.
In March, Yost played her way into the Founders Cup and birdied her first hole. She shot 67 in the first round and went on to make the cut.
“It was a whirlwind week,” Yost said. “I think the biggest thing I took away from that tournament is I know I'm good enough to be out here. I know that I can compete among some of the top players. I learned a lot about myself as far as confidence, and like I said, that I'm good enough to be out here.”
Crown and Caliber, a luxury online watch company, was inspired by Yost’s story and stepped up to sponsor her this week.
This will be Yost’s first tournament since the Founders Cup. She’s planning to go to LPGA Q-School this summer.
“Everyone has been very supportive,” Yost said. “I come from a loving family and friends, so I think everyone is just happy for me and been in my corner. I've always had positive parents, a positive golf coach, so it's just really special that everyone has been lifting me up with my journey.”