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Dye Jr. Invite champion Wrightson leans on mother’s incredible strength

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — This past week, Drew Wrightson, the quiet, can’t-miss golfing talent from Crooked Stick Golf Club just north of Indianapolis, carded a six-shot victory on his home course.

A national field at the Pete and Alice Dye Junior Invitational, one of the fastest-growing amateur golf tournaments in the country, left in awe.

“We were walking up the (18th) fairway, and my caddy actually told me that I had a two-shot lead instead of a five (shot) at the time,” Drew Wrightson said. “So I’m thinking, ‘I can’t make a mistake here, we have to make a birdie’ … I ended up getting a good shot in and then read the putt perfectly, then dead centered it.”

The scene to follow on the 18th was special.

The gallery of local supporters, friends, family and fellow competitors all waited for a chance to congratulate the bashful champion.

There was something to do first, though: a hug that encompasses what those of us outside the immediate Wrightson family can’t fully understand.

A hug that tops any golf trophy that will find itself in the arms of this promising young talent.

You see, the Wrightson family, Wade (dad), Tessa (sister), and Drew are anchored by mom.

Michelle Wrightson was there for that hug despite carrying the heaviest of burdens.

“In November of 2018, I ended up in the hospital with multiple myeloma blood cancer that’s incurable,” Michelle Wrightson said. “I had 12 fractures, five in my ribs, four in my spine, one in my sternum tailbone, and one in my hip.”

“I was in the hospital for about two weeks and then came home and had to stay in a hospital bed in our home for several months after that, she added. “I was just trying to learn how to walk again and taking chemotherapy every week.”

Michelle’s remarkable strength is visible every time Drew makes a swing.  

“I wear a wristband, and it says that ‘no one fights alone,'” Drew Wrightson said. “That’s for her; the color of maroon is for her cancer. Whenever I’m going through anything, whether it is golf or school, I can just take a look at that, and it lets me know that my mom made it through, so I can make it through.”

In just a few weeks, Drew Wrightson leaves home to chase his college golf dream.

The Baylor Bears men’s golf team landed the Carmel star and this fall, the scores of freshman year will not supplant the smiles behind this story.

“We’re just so proud of him, we’re going to encourage him, support him as much as we can from afar and get to Waco, Texas, or everywhere he’s going to be as much as we can,” Michelle Wrightson said. “We are just grateful that he has this opportunity, and we’re just really proud of him.”

Drew Wrightson tries to follow up his victory at the Dye Junior Invite with a strong showing this week at the 49th Southern Junior Championship held at Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Eatonton, Ga.

The wristband will be on. And regardless of the finish, mom will be there to hug her son coming off the 18th green.

“She has been there through ups and downs… just everything in life, she’s probably my best friend, to be honest with you,” Drew Wrightson said.

Even the game that plays tricks on everyone can’t shake the unbreakable bond between mother and son.

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