A friendship is born, thanks to golf

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Olivia Messana (left) and Emily McKee (right) stand together during the U.S. Kids World Golf Championship in Pinehurst last summer. The two quickly became good friends in their time here.

When Emily McKee and Olivia Messana came to Pinehurst to play in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship, they didn’t know each other.

By the end of their first round, they were close to best friends.

And since those summer rounds in Pinehurst, they may have returned to their homes 1,181 miles apart, but they’ve never been closer.

That was clearly evident in the letter Emily recently wrote – yes, wrote – to her friend Olivia, a letter that Emily’s mom Amanda posted on Twitter.

The girls first met when they were paired together in the first round of their Girls’ 9 Championship. The friendship blossomed quickly, and following the round, Emily gave Olivia a Canada pin.

After an early tee time in the second round the next day, the two reconnected again at The Carolina Hotel pool, and with extended time to hang out, the two continued to be inseparable, meeting up again and again through the week. When Olivia won a Pinehurst mug at a trivia contest, she returned Emily’s previous generosity by giving it to Emily. The two finally had to depart, but left Pinehurst confident their games will allow them to see each other again at the 2017 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in August.

Until then, they continue to stay in touch. Olivia recently wrote Emily, passing along a ball marker, to which Emily replied by sending a Canadian moose plush animal that Olivia now takes to bed with her every night.

In the span of a few hours, and with a few tee shots and putts mixed in, Emily and Olivia went from not knowing each other to meeting in Pinehurst to the dawn of what might be a lifelong friendship.

All thanks to golf.