WCIA — Anna Duden doesn’t have any teammates but her coach certainly makes up for it. As the only golfer for Armstrong-Potomac, Anna is coached by her dad, Gary. They’re taking advantage of their final season together as a father-daughter duo for the Trojans.
“It’s a good thing because we’re both really competitive, and we know what we’re thinking before we even do it,” Anna Duden said.
“She just makes it so fun,” Gary Duden said. “Who wouldn’t want to golf with their daughter and coach her? I thank the Lord every morning that we have this opportunity, because she was very sick when she was younger.”
At just 10 days old, Anna’s heart stopped beating for 19 minutes. As a result, she spent the next seven weeks in the hospital battling a number of health conditions, and was later diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.
“Obviously a very scary situation, we were so unsure about what was going on,” Anna’s mother Jill said. “Everyone has challenges that you face, but her challenge just happens to be something that most people can recognize and can see.”
But Anna has never let that get in the way of her life or her love for golf. And this season she’s playing her best game yet. The senior recently shot a career-best 41 in a nine hole match.
“You want your kids to love what they’re doing and have some success at it after all the work,” Jill added. “And it’s been a blessing for her and in turn a huge blessing for all of us.”
“I’m expecting her to do well every time,” said Gary. “I treat her as an athlete that also happens to be my daughter. We are very competitive. We hate losing.
“I just try to compete within my own scores and what I can do,” Anna said. “I know what I can accomplish.”
Next on her list of goals is getting to play at the next level. Right now she has interest from Danville Area Community College and Eastern Illinois as a walk-on.
“It would be really awesome just to play new courses, meet new people, and just advance in my golf game,” she said.
And with a competitive spirit like hers, there truly are no limits.