A prodigy’s winning traditionPublished 10:41pm Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Each year the Cedar Point Country Club holds its biggest men’s tournament for its members, and each of the last four years, the same name has ended up atop the leaderboard.
Last weekend, John David Sanderson of Suffolk made it five years in a row with a two-day score of 147.
While the string of success against some of the club’s best golfers is impressive by itself, adding to the achievement is the fact that Sanderson is only 20.
Having been part of the club through a family membership since he was about 5, he recalled when he first tried to play in the Men’s Club Championship in his early teens.
“It was a debate whether or not a kid could play in it,” he said.
But some members wanted him to have a chance.
“One that knew me went to the board and kind of made a case for me to play,” he said.
He first competed in the event at the age of 14, and soon he began winning it. He described what it was like to do it for a fifth consecutive time.
“It really means a lot,” he said. “First off, it just kind of shows me that I’ve been blessed.”
He made a point of thanking his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his golf skills.
Just because he has been winning, it does not mean fellow members have not given him a run for his money. This year, the championship ended in a playoff with Russ Bradshaw.
“It was great to really be pushed and feel that pressure coming down the 17th, 18th hole, and going into a playoff and having the members watch was kind of an exciting time,” Sanderson said.
Bradshaw birdied the 16th and 17th holes to go one-up into the final hole. When he bogeyed on 18, it forced the sudden-death playoff, in which Sanderson birdied, while Bradshaw made par.
Sanderson, who hit 73 on Saturday and 74 on Sunday, did not feel like he had the best tourney but acknowledged that things can still work out.
“I might have scored a little better than I hit the ball, but sometimes you’ve got to do that,” he said.
He credited the people at Cedar Point Country Club with helping him reach his current level of success, particularly the club’s Director of Golf, T.J. Young.
“I’ve been taking lessons from him for probably the last four or five years, and he’s really invested a lot in me as a golfer,” Sanderson said. “He’s really gone above and beyond in helping me improve.”
Sanderson is a rising sophomore at the University of Richmond and plays on the school’s golf team.