A 56th Training Squadron Airman proves that age doesn’t matter when he defeated an opponent 18 years younger and won the 88th Arizona Amateur Championship at Gallery Golf Club in Marana, Ariz.
Capt. Andy Aduddell, 37, 56th TRS special mission subject matter expert, defeated Michael Anderson, a Washington State University sophomore, by one stroke on the final hole.
“Going into the match I kept the same game plan I had all week,” Aduddell said. “My plan was to play the course, play my game and not get caught up in the match.”
Aduddell started the championship round by making par and had a one-stroke lead after the first hole.
“Aduddell deploys a specific strategy on each hole of the course, which is to attack each hole’s design and opportunity while maintaining consistency at all times,” said Tom O’Malley, JDM Partners, LLC chief operating officer. JDM Partners owns the Wigwam Spa and Golf Resort and other resort properties in the state.
His fierce ball striking ability didn’t stop there. Aduddell birdied the second, sixth, seventh, eighth, 10th and 11th holes to give him a five-stroke lead with only seven holes left.
“I was staying within my game plan,” Aduddell said about the first 11 holes. “I did a nice job playing the course, staying with my game plan and not getting outside of that.”
However, Anderson didn’t let Aduddell win the championship easily. He answered back making birdies on holes 12, 13, 15 and 17 to square the match.
“His comeback made things a lot tighter and difficult,” Aduddell said.
The match had a bizarre turn of events as the golfers played the final hole. After each golder made his first shot, they were unable to see where the balls landed.
As the players approached the green, Anderson saw a ball and thought it was his. After picking up the ball to clean it, Anderson realized it wasn’t his and put it back down.
“My first reaction when I saw him pick up my ball was that it must be way over the green, which meant I’d have no shot,” Aduddell said.
According to the rules of golf, if a player’s ball is moved other than during a search, the opponent who moved the ball incurs a one-stroke penalty.
Once the penalty was assessed, it took Anderson three putts, including the penalty, to sink the ball, giving him a bogey for the hole. Aduddell was able to make par, giving him a one-up victory.
Aduddell was able to take more away that day than the championship.
“It was encouraging for me to know that I still have the ability to play this game at a very high level and beat very talented players,” he said. “I felt like I proved a lot to myself. It was neat to see what I used to be like as far as watching the younger players and how I have matured in golf mentally.”