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Dream come true: 12-year-old meets Tiger Woods
Make-A-Wish Foundation made meeting possible

By: Jason Deegan

" Alex Hardy loves sports.

The 12-year-old from Brighton Township is a big fan of Detroit's pro teams - the Pistons, Wings, Lions and Tigers. But golf might be his favorite.

"He loves everything about it,'' said his mom, Kristin Hardy.

Hardy, 12, who will be a seventh-grader at Brighton's Scranton Middle School, can't play the game he loves. He has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.

Still, Hardy had one of his biggest golf dreams come true last week - he met the No. 1 player in the world, Tiger Woods, at the Buick Open in Grand Blanc through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"As soon as he (Woods) made eye contact, he gave Alex a huge smile,'' Kristin Hardy said. "He came over and said, 'Hey big guy, I'll get with you in a minute.' He gave Alex the best attention in the room. He signed a book for Alex, 'Your friend always, Tiger.' It was just thrilling for my son.''

South Lyon's Robert Littlemeyer, 15, also met Woods at the event. Both families were given the red carpet treatment by Buick Golf, Hardy said, receiving clubhouse passes for the Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club last weekend and shirts, golf balls and hats.

Hardy said her son took a liking to golf about five years ago.

"A match was on TV one day,'' she recalled. "He was hooting and howling and laughing, showing his excitement. Alex is somewhat verbal. He can't say much, but he can say 'I want to see Tiger Woods.' He loves a lot of different golfers.''

Hardy said her husband, Brian, took Alex for a ride in a golf cart while he was playing a recent round.

"We want to get him a golf cart really bad,'' she said. "The carts are nice. There is a lot of leg room.''

Last November, Alex had his big wish granted by the foundation. He went deep-sea fishing off the Florida Keys. He caught a large mahi-mahi and later, reeled in 28 colorful tropical fish on a single day.

"It's nice to have extra opportunities (through Make-A-Wish),'' Kristin Hardy said. "To get someone like Alex, who can't do what other children can do, something special. He spends half his time at the doctor's (office). Things like this make him feel special.''



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