Hoping for a hole-in-one

When Taylor Anderson was born, doubting doctors told his parents he would not be able to walk or talk. Twenty-one years later, he’s a junior at GW majoring in economics – and he is teeing up for the experience of a lifetime.

Anderson is one of five finalists in a contest called “Who’s Behind Your Success?” He submitted an essay and a video in hopes of winning the grand prize: a day in Las Vegas with Ladies Professional Golf Association star Natalie Gulbis. The prize includes a morning workout, nine holes of golf and dinner. The winner of the contest is based on the number of votes submitted online.

Anderson said he decided to enter after watching a news segment on the Golf Channel this summer.

“Golfing with an LPGA professional would be an amazing opportunity,” he said. “Natalie Gulbis is well-known, she’s attractive and it’s not really a date, but they phrased it that way, so I was like – you know, that might be nice.”

The contest called for an essay about the most influential person behind your success. For Anderson, choosing his mom was a no-brainer.

“She’s always been there,” he said. “She’s the one who took me to all my doctor appointments, all the therapies while my dad was off earning the money. She never limited me on what I can do and encouraged me to try something even if I fail.”

Anderson credits his parents for never doubting him when others did. He was born paralyzed on his right side after having a stroke before he was born nine weeks premature. Doctors told his parents that he would be a quadriplegic with mild retardation.

“Basically, the fact that I can walk and talk and carry on an intelligent conversation is somewhat of a surprise to the doctors,” Anderson said.

So when he expressed an interest in golf growing up in England as a preteen, Anderson’s mom researched instructors until they found the right one.

“I had an instructor that pretty much adapted everything for me,” he said. “He said to my mom, ‘If I can hit a ball standing on one leg with one arm, I can teach your son to do that.'”

Though most other people golf with two hands and two feet, Anderson said he doesn’t come across any major obstacles when golfing. He even started his high school’s golf team as a senior.

Though he’s still in shock that he is a finalist in the contest, Anderson said he has high hopes for winning. He created a Facebook group called “Send Taylor to Vegas” to urge friends and family to vote for his video. His parents have also been telling their friends to vote.

“It’s one of those things where people have really rallied behind me,” he said. “The support I’ve gotten throughout my life is what’s made me who I am today.”

To vote for Taylor’s video, go to www.rsmmcgladrey.com/nataliecontest. Voting ends Wednesday, Oct. 8, and the winner will be announced online on Tuesday, Oct. 21.

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