When Sarah Tubert, the younger sister of Symetra Tour professional Emily, was three years old she was misdiagnosed with mastoiditis, an infection that leads to the brain and can cause children to die. Therefore, she was rushed into surgery and her facial nerve was accidentally severed, which paralyzed the right side of her face and robbed her hearing. It turns out, she actual had a simple pinched nerve that should not have required surgery.
Yes, she was dealt a tough hand, but 20 years later, she is living a full life as a volleyball official, volleyball coach at Burbank High School in Burbank, Calif., a recruiter and a make up artist.
She also is the captain of the National Deaf Olympic Volleyball team. Sarah recently returned from the Pan-American Games and the World Championships hosted in Washington D.C. Her U.S. team brought home the gold and they were undefeated at both events.
This week, Sarah gets to celebrate her 23rd birthday, by watching Emily play in the PHC Classic. The icing on the cake is that Sarah will do more than watch: she will caddy.
“I haven’t seen her play golf in probably five years so it’s wonderful to not only watch her play, but to be part of it,” said Sarah, who showcased a smooth swing of her own on the range when big sister asked her to take a rip. “It has been an amazing experience so far.”
Emily was a three-time All-American at Arkansas and is currently 31st on the Volvik Race for the Card money list with two top 10 finishes. The long list of accomplishments also includes the 2014 Dinah Shore Trophy and a spot on the 2012 U.S. Curtis Cup team.
“I just admire her,” said Sarah. “Me as the younger sister, I’ve always looked up to her and her
accomplishments and I’ve always wanted to be just like her. Having someone like her to look up to and have as a role model is great.”
The feeling is mutual. Emily introduced Sarah to so many people at the course and made it very clear that she is proud of her little sister.
“She’s an inspiration because she has never let anything stop her or hold her back,” said Emily. “Any challenge she has faced, she has met. I tell everyone about her all the time.”
Sarah was shocked on Tuesday when her aunt brought a chocolate cake to celebrate her birthday with relatives that live in Milwaukee. The birthday present that she really wants is to help her sister win the PHC Classic.
“I hope we win,” said Sarah with the widest smile. “With me on her bag and how competitive we are and how much we like to win, hopefully we can accomplish that goal. If she plays her best and is happy about how she plays, that is all that matters to me.”
For Emily, winning is a top priority, but just being able to spend a week with her younger sister is special.
“It’s really neat and she has only ever wanted to have a really good relationship with me and growing up we were kind of distant and we’ve gotten closer as we’ve gotten older,” explained Tubert. “When I asked her to come caddy for me her eyes lit up and she was like ‘really’ and here we are.”
While Emily pushes towards the LPGA, Sarah is pushing towards a career as a make up artist.
“I want to be in the entertainment industry and work in television and film as a make up artist,” explained Sarah, who is following in the footsteps of her dad, Marcelo. “Being behind the scenes as a make up artist is something I really want to accomplish.”
Spend five minutes talking to Emily and you can tell that she almost views Sarah as her role model.
“She’s incredible,” said Emily. “My mom always said Sarah, I don’t know why you have a crooked smile and you can’t hear but it’s your gift. You can either sit around and feel sorry for yourself or you can go live your life. She has never made excuses and she is living a full life.”