Birdies for Bradley lives on

“Bradley Johnson is going to be a star golfer someday,” a neighbor said to John Hayden, then nine years old. “He’s coming up No. 14 right now.”

Hayden, just starting to gain interest in the game of golf, ran from his home near Graystone Country Club (Birmingham, Ala.) to catch a glimpse of the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up. Little did he know, that glimpse would be one of the last that he would see of the promising young talent in Johnson.

“I brought a golf ball over to Bradley and asked him to sign it,” reflected now 16-year-old Hayden. “He kind of laughed, then smiled and signed the ball.”

A few weeks later, Johnson’s life was tragically cut short in a two-car accident. Johnson, just shy of making a college decision, left behind unfinished dreams and a younger brother Michael who helped establish Birdies for Bradley. Michael’s vision, along with the help of other family members, was to create a fundraiser through the AJGA’s Leadership Links program that benefitted the Bradley Johnson Memorial Foundation and the ACE Grant.

Michael, a two-time AJGA champion, is now playing golf at Auburn, but looks to younger AJGA juniors to continue the Birdies for Bradley program. It didn’t take much to convince Hayden.

Hayden has only participated in a few Qualifiers so far and yet his contributions to the Birdies for Bradley program via Leadership Links are significant.

“I’m almost to the $1,000 mark,” Hayden said. “It’s been really easy to raise the money and it’s for a great cause. I’m just really trying to keep the spirit of Bradley alive because I’ve never heard a bad thing about him. He was a class act and I’m striving to model myself after him.”

Hayden looks forward to raising more funds for the Birdies for Bradley program in 2012. He will most likely participate in his first AJGA tournament this summer and hopes to rack up the birdies.

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Birdies for Bradley lives on

“I’m not only focusing on birdies to help me post a good score, but the Leadership Links program will turn those birdies into money for a good cause.”

 

For more information about the AJGA Leadership Links program please visit: http://www.ajga.org/LL/Index.asp

Leadership Links juniors participating in the Birdies for Bradley program will qualify for the USGA matching fund for up to $1,000 raised. Alabama residents participating will get a 100% match.

 
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Weekly Results
Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior at The Seagate presented by Sportlink
Boys
Total
1
Robert Eisch
141
T
2
Alvaro Escalada
142
T
2
Michael Saccente
142
Girls
Total
1
Alice Jo
142
2
Maria Hoyos
146
3
Courtney Zeng
147
Preseason Junior at Cantigny
Boys
Total
T
1
David Perkins
219
T
1
Drew Kiehl
221
3
Frank Lindwall
216
Girls
Total
1
Brooke Babbin
237
2
Emily Young
240
T
3
Margaret Hickey
238
T
3
Loren Skibba
241
Junior All-Star at Longaberger
Boys
Total
1
*Graham Corbin
146
T
2
Aaron Chen
146
T
2
Grant Smith
146
Girls
Total
1
Kailie Vongsaga
152
2
Megan Furtney
153
3
Erica Shepherd
154
Preseason Junior at Worthington Manor presented by Golf Performance Center
Boys
Total
1
Walker Simas
150
2
Dominic Wagner
151
T
3
Evan Long
152
T
3
Tanner Johnson
152
Girls
Total
1
Hailey Freedman
162
T
2
Samantha Fritzinger
169
T
2
Julia Calomiris
169
* Won via sudden-death playoff
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