I don't have bad luck, just bad timing. One evening, in July
1994, I was walking into a drugstore in Warren, Ohio, when a
stray bullet hit me in the neck. The gun had been fired by a man
who was about a half mile away. Miraculously, the bullet missed
all my major arteries as it passed through my neck. I felt
In October 1998 I underwent back surgery to correct a ruptured
disk. That kept me out of action for more than a year. As any
professional golfer knows, you cannot earn money lying on the
floor. Having lost my card, I had to start last year on the
Futures tour, but I played well enough to rejoin the LPGA for
the second half of the season and regain exempt status.
Now this: Two weeks ago at the YourLife Vitamins LPGA Classic,
our season opener in Orlando, I left the course after shooting a
first-round 72, a nice start on a windy afternoon. I felt very
positive about the season ahead. I had worked hard during the
off-season on my conditioning and my swing.
As I drove out of the gates of the Grand Cypress Resort, the
driver of an oncoming automobile veered into my lane and struck
me. The next thing I remember was lying in an ambulance on the
way to the Orlando Regional Medical Center. I had a broken
collarbone and would need surgery on my right knee. It will be
10 weeks before I can begin practicing again.
Given these setbacks, I could feel as if I have a dark cloud
hanging over my head, but I don't. I realize more than ever how
fortunate I am that I'm alive and that I have a job I'm
passionate about. I can't wait to get back to work.
From the shooting I came to understand that I could not control
all the variables in my life. Through my back surgery, I realized
that it takes motivation and perseverance to make a complete
recovery. My recent accident made me realize that none of us
knows what is around the next bend in life.
Williams, 37, is recuperating at her dad's house in Mount Dora,
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN F. GRIESHOP