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Greene overcomes significant injury to finish 5th in state

Posted on Friday, December 22, 2023 at 11:37 am

Submitted photo Tatyana Greene and Anna Clanton pose at the Class 1A state golf tournament, held in Sevierville this past fall.

Submitted photo Greene and the Lady Champs pose with their region runner-up plaque after taking second earlier this fall.

By Chris Siers
Coming back from a significant surgery is difficult for any athlete to overcome, and following the recovery process, there’s no guarantee an athlete will return to prime form.
When Cascade junior Tatyana Greene faced a significant surgery earlier this spring, she faced the possibility of seeing a major setback in her golf game.
Instead of a setback, she used the opportunity to work on various parts of her game, improved throughout the season and finished fifth in the Class A state tournament this fall.
“I wasn’t expected to come and play golf this season until mid-September. Luckily, I got to play the entire season. I got released from physical therapy early,” Greene said.
Facing several months of physical therapy and recovery was daunting enough, but Greene worked through her down time and not only recovered ahead of schedule, but came back stronger than ever.
“A lot of people don’t understand in golf, when you go out for a certain amount of time, you may as well add 10 or 15 strokes to your game,” Cascade coach Jeremy Bankston said.
“With Tatyana, she went out and she came back, it was almost like she improved. At first it was a little slow, but her putting was just so good. Her short game was amazing. As the year went on, I kept thinking she’s getting better and better.”
Better, indeed.
Greene spent the two-day tournament battling the golfers atop the leaderboard and eventually finished with a two-day total of 153 to take fifth place overall.
But it wasn’t just her own hopes of hoisting a state championship title that drove Greene through the recovery process. The Lady Champion team captain pushed herself to get back to help the betterment of the team as well.
“I didn’t get back just for myself. I got back for my team because I know as a team, they need a captain. As I am the captain, I have to help them and they help me. So I thought I had to push not just myself, but push them to get better as well,” she said.
“She talked about coming back as the captain, and she does a good job of that. The whole team improved. Every one of our girls got better. Going into next year, we have high hopes. And getting to the state championship as a team will be something that we’ve never done in this school’s history,” Bankston said.
While in her down time recovering, Greene wasn’t able to step into a tee box or play a typical round of golf. So instead of waiting for the time when she was medically cleared to do so, she spent the time improving her short game and putting, which paid dividends for the Lady Champs.
“When I was down, I putted a lot because I couldn’t swing. I think that’s what helped my game the most,” she said.
For now, Greene’s focus is a typical offseason routine of working on her strength and focusing on her approach.
“I would probably say my mid-to short game, like nine-iron or gap wedge because those shots put you in putting position. That get you anywhere from a birdie to a bogey or double bogey. I’m indoor working on simulators all the time. I work out, just trying to build my strength,” she said.
Having been to the state tournament in back-to-back seasons as an individual, Greene’s focus is now helping Cascade make its first-ever trip as a team.
Having finished fifth in the state, only four senior golfers finished ahead of her, priming Greene to be one of the top Class A golfers next season.
And having overcome a rather significant injury and surgery to reach that, made the 2023 season mean that much more for Greene.
“It feels absolutely amazing just to see that I improved even with a setback. It proves you can come back from anything. It’s definitely something I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for the gift I have,” she said.