Tahlequah Daily Press

October 8, 2013

100 holes of golf lead to cancer awareness

By BEN JOHNSON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — The sun had barely crept over the horizon, and Brady Wood was on the tee box. He wasn’t playing golf for a trophy; he was playing for a cause.

Wood, along with three friends – Randy Phillips, Matt Warwick and James Ivy –  went out on a mission to play 100 holes of golf in one day at The Links in Bixby back in August. Each one was playing for a different cancer organization.

“The beginning of the 100-hole round was almost nerve-wracking,” Wood said of stepping onto the tee box to begin the day. “We teed off right at 6:35 a.m. and the nerves compared to my college playing time at Northeastern State University. It wasn’t the fact that we wanted to play great, it was the fact that we had told our friends, family, and each of our organizations and did not want to let anyone down. After the first 18 holes, the nerves went away.”

In what began as a joke, Wood and his buddies pulled off a feat for a worthy cause.

Wood played for the Alzheimer’s Association. Phillips teed it up for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Warwick hit the links for the Leukemia Association. Ivy was out there for the Contact Mission.

“After talking about it again for a week, we decided that if we do it, we should have a purpose in the event. The four of us had ties in different ways with our organizations, and it was a perfect fit for the four of us,” Wood said. “We picked 100 holes because it is a crazy ‘benchmark’ in golf. It’s easy to go play 36 or even 45 holes in a day, but 100 is often unthinkable. We set our goal high, and wanted to be in the triple digits.”

Wood said he did it for his stepmother.

“My stepmom works at Senior Star Living, which is a company that is closely tied with the Alzheimer’s Association,” Wood said. “Me and my stepmother walk in the Alzheimer’s Walk each year, and I thought it was a perfect fit and a great organization to represent for the day.”

Many doubted the quartet could finish 100 holes in one day, Wood said. However, it took only 10 hours and 10 minutes to accomplish the goal.

“Very exhausted, to say the least,” Wood said. “We were all ready to get back to the air conditioner. Toward the very end, we all got a second wind, and it was exciting and nerve-wracking again through the finish.

“Most people thought that there was no way we could finish 100 holes in one day. People were very intrigued by the event and what was taking place, and this worked in our favor of explaining why we were doing it, and what the cause was going toward.”

Now that Wood, Warwick, Phillips and Ivy have pulled off the task, the goal is to make it a yearly thing. Wood hopes it continues to grow in popularity to help raise awareness for each of the organizations.

“Throughout the day, and through the planning of the event, we have decided to make the event an annual event, with hopes that it only grows and becomes bigger and better,” Wood said. “We spread the word a lot over the past few weeks and it seemed that more and more people would like to partake in the event next year around this same time.”

bjohnson@tahlequahdailypress.com