Growing Up In The Game

GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK | Whenever 35-year-old Andrew Biggadike plays golf, his late father, Ralph, is on his mind. After all, it was his dad who gave him his first set of clubs, when the lad was only 3 years old. Seven years later, Andrew played his first 18-hole round with him, and soon his English-born father was encouraging him to enter junior events.
Ralph frequently drove Andrew to and from competitions and occasionally caddied for him. They also attended golf tournaments together as spectators. “We even went to several Ryder Cups,” recalls Biggadike, who was born in Virginia, grew up in New Jersey and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the last decade. “Dad was always for the Europeans, and I was for the Americans.”
The connection between father and son only strengthened as Andrew began competing at higher levels, whether as a member of the Guilford College golf team that won the NCAA Division III national championship in 2002 or as a three-time winner of the Carnegie Shield, an elite amateur invitational held at the Royal Dornoch Golf Club in Scotland, where his father was a longtime member. Then in 2012, Biggadike qualified for the U.S. Amateur.
“It was a really difficult summer,” recalls Biggadike. “My dad was sick with pancreatic cancer, and I came
back east to be with him. It was during that time that I signed up to play in a U.S. Am sectional qualifier in Long Island, and I had been trying to make it into that championship for a long time. My putter got hot for a spell, and I ended up being the medalist. And one of the best moments of my life was being able to give my father the medal I had just won.”


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