Ryan Korengel plays golf one-handed, is visually impaired and struggles with balance. He scores in the triple digits. Yet he is a member of the golf team at Mount St. Joseph University, a Division III school in Cincinnati, and carries a 4.0 GPA.
Korengel suffered severe brain trauma in September 2008 when, as a 12-year-old, he was caught in a microburst while playing golf and struck in the head by a falling tree limb. It took multiple surgeries and years of rehabilitation, but despite being paralyzed on the left side of his body and only able to see center-to-right from both eyes, Korengel found his way back to the course and hopes to one day become a motivational speaker to inspire others dealing with difficulty in their lives.
The Golf Coaches Association of America recognized Korengel on Tuesday, naming him the recipient of the David Toms Overcoming Adversity Award.
“Golf was a big motivator and it helped me along in my rehabilitation,” Korengel told Golf Channel. “I really wouldn’t be where I am today without golf.”