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My Shot
Jaime Diaz
January 29, 2001
I've had two life-threatening accidents, but I don't consider myself unfortunate
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January 29, 2001

My Shot

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I've had two life-threatening accidents, but I don't consider myself unfortunate

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 blessed.

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, Fla.

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