x
Breaking News
More () »

Father-daughter bond: Diagnosed with rare condition at birth, Lewisville junior golf star takes golf-loving family to Augusta National

Delaney Anderson will compete in the Drive, Chip and Putt Finals at the home of The Masters.

RICHARDSON, Texas — Nothing can drive a wedge between Delaney Anderson and her father, Garrett.

Like her dad, the 12-year-old girl is golf-obsessed.

"She's now begging me to go practice," noted Garrett Anderson, a high school teacher and basketball coach.

It wasn't always that way for the Lewisville family that moved here nearly a dozen years ago from California.

What started as Garrett playing and Delaney riding along in the golf cart morphed into an unique daddy-daughter bond over a sport they – and Delaney's younger sister Daphne – all share.

"It's very cool I get to bond with my dad and my sister and my whole family through golf," Delaney Anderson said, in between driving range sessions at The Golf Ranch in Richardson, Texas, where Garrett also teaches golf lessons.

While Delaney's mother, Jillian, tags along – or gets a quiet house to herself, Garrett jokes – the girls and Garrett are often at a golf course. Not because they have to but because they want to.

"It's a very rare thing to have, now that she's in middle school," Garrett Anderson admitted. "Most middle schoolers, last thing they want do is be with their dad. I feel like she still likes being around me, and I'm going soak that feeling in as long as I can."

Garrett and Jillian are grateful for the gift of time with Delaney in more ways than one. Delaney was born with a rare tumor in her liver, which was (and is) inoperable due to the surrounding blood vessels.

Fighting through tears, Garrett explained how Delaney spent the first month of her life at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford Children's Health, located nearly five hours north of where they lived in Visalia, California.

Due to the location of the mass, Delaney cannot play contact sports because the risk of impact and injury could be severe.

"I can't get hurt," Delaney asserted. "I can't get hurt."

Thankfully, the tumor has not grown and it's beginning to calcify. And her latest checkups show her heart is stronger than it's ever been.

"She even made the comment, 'Is this why God made me good at golf? Is this why he put this in my path? Because I can't do other things?,'" Garrett recalled.

Golf may indeed be her calling.

In October, Delaney won the regional qualifier (girls ages 12-13) of the Drive, Chip and Putt contest at The Alotian Club in Roland, Ark.

The Anderson family is going to Augusta.

On the first weekend of April, Delaney will be one of 80 kids nationwide to compete in the DCP finals -- held annually at Augusta National Golf Club.

"I literally lose sleep," Garrett Anderson joked. "I'll wake up in the middle of the night like, 'Holy cow, I can't believe we're going.'"

And they'll be traveling in style.

Delaney has a fresh new pair of Nike with a custom paint job courtesy of Garrett's friend and art teacher Caleb Jacks.

It's an all-expense paid trip to the home of The Masters where Delaney will play on the illustrious, exclusive grounds just a week before golf's biggest weekend of the year.

"I'm really, really excited," Delaney smiled. "It's Augusta!"

This time, Delaney will play golf. And her dad will be along for the ride.