Meet the 6-Year-Old Golfer with One Arm Beating PGA Tour Pros: 'It's Fun to Win!'
Tommy Morrissey is besting professional golfers at their game — an especially impressive feat considering the fact that he uses only one arm on the green!
Tommy Morrissey is besting professional golfers at their own game — an especially impressive feat considering the fact that he’s 6 and uses only one arm on the green!
The kindergartner, who was born without his right arm, challenged PGA Tour pros to a one arm swing-off at this week’s Honda Classic. Professionals were encouraged to hit balls using only one arm — just like Tommy, who took up the sport at 3 and has been golfing ever since.
“It’s fun to win!” Tommy tells PEOPLE of beating golfers like Harris English during the competition. “I get to beat the pros.”
During Tuesday’s contest, Tommy and his parents, Joe and Marcia Morrissey, promoted their family’s nonprofit, unLIMBited, that raises funds to hep children with limb differences fulfill their dreams.
For Tommy, that dream is to play golf professionally one day.
“He was born to play this game,” Joe, 47, tells PEOPLE. “We try to foster as much support as we can with Tommy and give him the skill sets necessary to compete physically and mentally in a two-handed world. It just so happens my son has a strong love for the game of golf!”
Joe says Tommy was born without his right arm due to an in utero interruption causing the extremity not to grow below the elbow, likely due to a blood clot. Although Tommy faces some challenges, like tying his shoes, the 6-year-old “isn’t limited physically,” according to his dad.
“When it comes to sports and creativity, there’s no handicap! There’s nothing physically he can’t do,” says Joe. “It’s a matter of figuring out his own version of how he’ll he do it.”
As a baby, Tommy would cry if his dad changed the TV channel from golf. So when he picked up his first club at 14 months old, his parents (both golfers themselves) weren’t surprised.
“He’s had such a passion for the game since he was a baby,” says Joe, chairman of unLIMBited. “Tommy used to sleep with my golf clubs at night. He would drag them up the stairs and get them in his crib. I would show up at the golf course the next day and I’d be missing my clubs!”
Tommy also studies the game and can recite statistics offhand.
“It’s a true passion,” says Joe. “As a parent, you can feel how your children perceives things in life by the things they do. He skips back and forth across the green — and when he’s skipping I know he’s having fun. He just absolutely loves the sport.”
“I want to be a professional golfer when I grow up!” says Tommy. “My heroes are Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.”