Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
You have to be a great person before you can be a great champion, according to 15-year-old golf prodigy Chloe Kovelesky
The Boca Raton native tries her best to embody both parts of that motto, and by all accounts, she’s found success in both.
It’s been a year to remember for Kovelesky. She overcame knee surgery in March to break a record at a local country club before competing in the first LPGA event of her career.
Two and a half weeks after surgery, Kovelesky was back to swinging a club. Four weeks after the operation, she was back on the course for an event – and after a quick turnaround, Kovelesky found herself ending the summer with a good friend in a two-person, best-ball event at the Estero Country Club.
“We were going to go out and have a good time and play some golf, and we were paired with the defending champions Amilia [Williams] and Elle [Nachmann],” Kovelesky said. “Elle and I are actually really good friends as well. We just had a really good time and I ended up playing really, really well on the first day and then ended up breaking the course record shooting 64.”
With teammate Gabriella Albert (St. Andrew’s), Kovelesky tallied eight birdies during a bogey-free first round en route to the record-breaking first-place performance.
“There was one hole that I made a 20-footer for par, and that was the only time that I really had a chance to make bogey,” she said. “I had a lot of birdie opportunities throughout the day. I just put myself in all of the correct places, I guess you could say.”
But that wasn’t the only noteworthy event of 2022 for Kovelesky.
The Boca golfer not only qualified for the Portland Classic – her first LPGA event – but later placed first (67) in the Les Schwab Portland Classic Amateur Open.
It’s a string of success that builds on her appearance in the 76th Women’s U.S Open at the Olympic Club last year at the age of 14.
“It’s grown over time, a lot of my love for the game,” she said. “I won three world championships when I was really young and I just always played up in divisions. Over time, everything kind of fell into place.”
Her golfing history started at a very young age – just nine months old, in fact.
“I was at the store with my mom and I guess I picked up this set of plastic golf clubs. We had a synthetic putting green in my backyard because my dad used to play golf. My dog retrieved golf balls. His name was Charlie. I guess my love for the game grew over time.”
For now, it’s all about the experiences, the passion, and meeting her idols, both new and old.
“Every single one of them was a huge help,” she said. Everything you hear from everyone builds on your life.”
Though her success has been undeniable at a young age, Kovelesky has eyes for the present, rather than the future.
“I’d like to say that I want to wait to see how everything unfolds,” she said when considering her future in the sport.
For now, she is content with enjoying the moments at hand.
by Alex Peterman, Special to USA Today Network