Sporting Heroes: Scott Draper driven to succeed in two sports


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The Independent Online

This is a tale that, when told, seems to have been embellished by Hollywood. It’s a tale of tragedy and triumph, talent and dedication, love and loss, and it’s all true.

Scott Draper won the junior Wimbledon doubles title in 1992. Though he was seen by many as a possible future star on the ATP Tour, pressure took its toll.

Draper (below) suffered from a severe case of OCD. He feared God would make him vomit if everything wasn’t just so.

After nine months of overwhelming distress, Draper decided enough was enough. As he got ready to drive to his next Satellite tennis tournament, Draper promised himself that after he left the driveway, OCD would never get in his  way again.

Draper married his long-time sweetheart Kellie in 1998. He had also started a rise up the ATP ranks. All seemed perfect, though behind closed doors  Kellie had been fighting cystic fibrosis.

Draper played the best tennis of his life at Queen’s Club in London in 1999, winning the title. He was now ranked 42 in the world. Two months later, Kellie succumbed to her illness and died.

Draper entered an 18-month depression before again fighting back. He had had his first golf lesson in 1999 at the age of 25. Golf was Draper’s therapy.

Draper would return to tennis and won the Australian Open mixed doubles title with Sam Stosur in 2005; his only Grand Slam win – the day after missing the cut in his first PGA tour event.

Later that year, Draper’s sole focus was golf. In 2007, he won the NSW PGA Championship, making him the only person to have won titles on both the ATP and PGA tours. He has remarried and has three children with wife Jess.