Nine different high schools were represented in the first 32 years that the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame recognized a Don Holliday Memorial Scholarship winner.
Hidden Valley can now join that list, courtesy of Ross Funderburke, who earlier had been named the Hall of Fame’s boys player of the year.
Josh Mattox, chairman of the selection committee, said at a Wednesday conference that Funderburke had the combination of golf proficiency and academic superiority that isn’t easy to find for a Holliday winner.
Funderburke, who had a 4.32 grade-point average and was one of the Hidden Valley valedictorians, had signed to play golf at Furman in the fall.
On top of that, the Hall of Fame will give him $30,000 spread over four years.
“I started getting competitive in golf when I was around 10 or 11,” said Funderburke, who no longer plays the trumpet, one of his earlier hobbies, “but still could if I wanted.”
He wasn’t familiar with the Holliday scholarship until he looked at the full range of scholarships offered by the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame.
“Obviously, this was the biggest of all and I wasn’t expecting to get it at all because I didn’t want to get my hopes up,” he said. “So, this is just incredible.”
He’s thinking about major in finance or business.
“Something with numbers,” said Funderburke, who hopes to keep his numbers down on the golf course.
Mattox said there were 60 applicants for the Holliday scholarship. That number got whittled to 20, who were invited to meet with the selection committee.
“What we’re looking for is interest in golf, community involvement, academics , financial need, character … all those things,” said Mattox, the 1997 winner. “It’s always hard to find that but we found that easily this year.
“I don’t know if we ever had anybody who was both player of the year and a valedictorian.”