The Patriot All-America – Through the Eyes of Adam Hedges
When the Patriot All-America Invitational, held on the Gold Course at Wigwam Golf Resort in Litchfield Park, Arizona, concluded on the final day of 2012, the leaderboard shows Sebastian Cappelen atop the list of 84 nationally recognized amateur golfers. Cappelen sealed his win with a birdie on 18, finishing with a 2-under 68.
A little farther down the leaderboard, you’ll see Adam Hedges’ name. Hedges, who finished in a 10th place tie, was one stroke off the lead with 3 holes to play.
Hedges, the All-American golfer from Belmont Abbey, kept a daily blog of his experiences at the Patriot All-America Invitational. After reading his daily updates, you quickly learn that the leaderboard and highlights only tell part of the story. We invite you to experience this event through the eyes (and words) of Adam Hedges:
Day 1 Excerpt
“Before I play a tournament, I make sure I plan my way around the course and have a plan for each round, each hole, and each of the potential flag locations. So today was really a day to look around, and take everything in, understand where everything is on each hole, and most importantly take down the green detail. The course is really fun to play although I only made it through 15 as I ran out of light. It is also in good condition, and the greens are pretty undulating; if they get the speed up on them, it will be a good test around the greens. Hopefully that plays in to my hands. The weather was perfect, with highs of about 70, and light winds, hopefully it stays like this! It’s nice out here!”
Day 2 Excerpt
“This evening we visited the Luke Air Force Base which is located just 10 minutes from the resort. We were taught about the F-16 fighter jet, and we had dinner in an aircraft hangar where they had brought in an F-16 for us to check out. We dined with some of the pilots and the general commander which was nice to hear their stories. It was awesome…getting to see an F-16 close up and ask the General Commander himself, a man who has been handling the planes for over 30 years about the jets; how they work, what they are used for and a lot more.”
Day 3 Excerpt
“Each player will be carrying identically colored Red, White and Blue bags but all with their own fallen soldiers name on that they will represent during the tournament. I will be representing Juantrea Bradley who died March 2008 at the age of 28. I was given a small brief of “Trea” and what happened, and feel like I have a lot more worth this week now. Not just playing for myself, but I have a better purpose now, a more selfless purpose, and I feels good! This Week I play for Juantrea and his wife Ava.”
Day 4 Excerpt
“Today I shot 69 (1 under par). The organizers brought the par of the course down from a 72 to a 70 by changing two of the 5 pars into par 4’s. Fortunately they moved the tees up a little to accommodate this change. This in a lot of people’s minds would have been intimidating because now they would think they only have two par 5’s to make “easier” birdies on (par 5s are usually where a lot of people can make a score under the par of the hole) Although it didn’t phase me at all, and in fact they also pushed some of the other tee boxes up on other holes, this was fantastic for me because my practice during my three practice rounds I always teed off right at the back of the furthest back tee, so today seemed easier! Which was more fun!”
Day 5 Excerpt
“I have been fortunate to have my Mum and Brother here this week, they have supported me the whole time, and have come out to watch both rounds including the AM/AM on Friday, which is a real treat because they rarely ever get to see me play. My brother Lewis cracks me up, he always keeps me upbeat on the course by saying something funny, which is what you need on the course! Any golfer will agree, keep smiling and it all becomes a little easier, it is easy to get down on yourself out there if things don’t go to plan or you don’t play like you would like to. Just thinking of Juantrea, the soldier I am representing puts my mistakes on the course into perspective!”
Day 6 Excerpt
“This has been such a fun trip, a few of us called it, “being treated like kings”, it was that good! This the most unique tournament I have ever played in, being like a “Collegiate Super Bowl of Golf”, and representing a fallen soldier just doesn’t happen everywhere you go. From the great food, to the awesome resort and rooms, to the pristine golf course we played on here at the Wigwam, I feel truly blessed to have been here! That’s all from me, See all the Abbey folks soon for the Spring Semester!”