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Andrew beats the odds

Daily Mail
14 Apr 2009

ANDREW PADDISON has surprised everyone with his success in the Daily Mail Foursomes.

Andrew, 46, is a victim of the Thalidomide drug, which has left him with two shortened arms, one leg and hands at right angles to his wrists. However, he has found a way to play golf at Llanymynech, the club where a nine-year-old Ian Woosnam learned the game, for 15 years, albeit without any competition success… until now.

He and partner Bob Hardy were the toast of the club after winning the competition to choose Llanymynech’s representatives in this year’s Daily Mail Foursomes. And now they have gone one better with a miraculous 19th-hole win over Dai Richards and Ian Snow, from local rivals Welshpool, in the first round. Bob, 54, said: ‘It’s a miracle, really. Andrew is an inspiration to everyone.’

Andrew, who walks with the use of a full-length false leg, can hit the ball a maximum of 130-140 yards. He struggles to carry the ball over numerous hazards at his course, which straddles the Welsh border, and usually plays off the ladies tees with a 28 handicap.

But the Daily Mail Foursomes is played off competition tees, which can extend holes at Llanymynech by as much as 50 yards, and the maximum handicap allowed is 18, meaning he lost the benefit of 10 shots before stepping on to the first tee.

Long carries forced Andrew to play some tee shots on to neighbouring fairways or even putt the ball 80 yards down the tee. However, the pair found a way to be only one down at the 18th, where their opponents drove out of bounds. That took the match down the 19th, and a par three was enough to take Andrew and Bob through.

Andrew said: ‘Everybody in the clubhouse was very, very pleased for us and everyone has been coming up to congratulate us since. Nobody expected us to win. I was extremely surprised.

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