The 2008 U.S. Open champion won’t be determined until Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate settle matters during an 18-hole playoff on Monday at Torrey Pines.
But Josh Madsen and his father were the winners Sunday of Golf Channel’s "Father’s Day Dream Trip" contest, which was announced on the network’s Live From the U.S. Open pre-tournament show from the Torrey Pines South Course in San Diego.
The Madsens, owing to the son’s life lesson essay about golf, will embark on a trip of a lifetime to the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews, Scotland. Additionally, Madsen won a Golf Channel prize pack that includes a $5,000 gift card from Dick’s Sporting Goods, $5,000 worth of equipment and apparel from TaylorMade-adidas Golf, and $15,000 cash.
Madsen’s essay, centering on a moment of despair over a bad golf shot, was chosen among 6,000 entries to the Father’s Day Dream Trip. Joshua Madsen heard the words from his father that he says will stay with him for the rest of his life, “You know, son, even perfect shots are out of our control. It’s not fair. Smile, pick up your clubs and take the drop. The game’s not over yet. Heck, just ask your mom about it.”
David Madsen referred to the ongoing battle his wife – and Joshua’s mother – was having with cancer. “That put it all in perspective for me,” said Madsen, “and I realized the game’s never over until it’s over.”
Upon hearing his name announced by Golf Channel on-air personality Rich Lerner’s Joshua and his father stood speechless with tears streaming down their cheeks before they embraced.
“Total shock, then pure elation,” said the younger Madsen. “This was something I certainly dreamed about and really wanted, but I really wanted it more for my Dad.”
The two will travel to St. Andrews next month for a round of golf at the famous Old Course.
Madsen was one of five finalists – and their fathers – who were hosted by the Golf Channel at the U.S. Open this week as part of the contest.
“We were extremely pleased with the response to this promotion,” said Golf president Page Thompson in a statement. “The game of golf is passed down from generation to generation, and our goal was to honor the fathers who have shared the love of the game with their sons and daughters. We thank everyone who participated.”
The essay contest was the core of the campaign, which encouraged consumers to submit a story online that recounted a life lesson learned from their fathers through golf. A dedicated micro-site served as the “headquarters” for the campaign, providing – among a variety of features – consumers with a chance to vote for their favorite story. Nearly 12,000 votes were received since voting began on June 9.
The micro-site enabled users to enter the essay contest, send Father’s Day e-cards, view entries, watch Father’s Day videos recorded by celebrities and professional golfers – including PGA Tour stars – and take a virtual tour of St. Andrews.