When Judy Eller Street arrived at the Doral Resort for her first college tournament in 40 years carrying her own clubs, she inspired a passerby to wish her team good luck. "He thought I was the coach," she says with a laugh. At 61 Eller Street is a senior golfer—and a senior on the women's team at Barry University, a Division II Catholic school in Miami Shores, Fla.
The name Judy Eller may be familiar. She won the U.S. Junior in 1957 and '58 and was on the team for three years at Miami, for which she was the NCAA champion in '59. A year later Eller Street joined future LPGA Hall of Earner JoAnne Carner and future USGA president Judy Bell on the American team that won the Curtis Cup.
Eller married Gordon Street Jr. in 1961, and she played amateur golf until age 29, when she quit to raise children (three daughters and a son). Her return to golf, like her return to college, was accidental. Last year she attended Barry's athletic awards banquet, at which a friend introduced her to Buccaneers golf coach Roger White and jokingly said that Eller Street still had some eligibility. "It started from there," says White. Barry officials discovered that Eller Street had four semesters of eligibility remaining for Division II play. Once she decided to join the Buccaneers, Eller Street hired a personal trainer and went to see her old pal earner for help with her swing. "Judy has always had talent," Carner says. "I knew if she dedicated herself, she could do this. I just told her to dye her hair."
Eller Street has shown signs of youth. In her second tournament, the Grenelefe Invitational in Haines City, Fla. in October, she shot 88-89 in the first two rounds but rebounded by closing with a 75—the low round of the day—and finished 11th. "That was the first time I felt, Gee, I can compete," Eller Street says. "It was like being young again." In eight tournament rounds this fall she has an 84.6 stroke average.
Two quarters shy of a liberal studies degree, Eller Street is adjusting to being a student-athlete. Recently, on the first day of the Pat Bradley Invitational in Miami, she carried her bag for 36 holes, then drove 25 miles back to the Barry campus to take a literature exam. Early the next morning she was back on the course for the tournament's final 18 holes. "She was right there with all the kids," says White. "She's an inspiration."
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