Miles Aduddell picked up his high school diploma on Friday.
Thursday, he will get a college degree.
For good measure, he also hopes to become a golf state champion this week.
Aduddell came back to Ozark High School this year to take part in senior festivities such as graduation. There, as a 4.0 student, he delivered a speech to his classmates about how the close of their high school chapters is just a small portion in a larger narrative of opportunity for achievement.
He would know.
Aduddell had a successful freshman year at Ozark, but was home-schooled for his next two years while traveling for American Junior Golf Association tournaments and other tours. During that time, he also took college courses at Ozarks Technical Community College, and continued while at Ozark this year to finish his associate’s degree this semester.
Aduddell took 16 course hours in the fall and spring semesters at OTC in addition to his high school work, and will continue his studies at Drury University. He’ll also golf for the Panthers and plans to declare a business-related major.
“I’m a pretty good time-manager, but these past couple weeks with finals and everything, it’s been catching up to me,” he said.
With schoolwork in the rearview, though, it’s all about golf this week. He’s competing today and Tuesday in the Class 4 state tournament at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield. After a season that included top-10 finishes in every tournament and a Central Ozark Conference championship, Aduddell has his sights on avenging his freshman year finish at state, when he tied for 84th out of 132.
He said this year’s tournament being nearby is an advantage. Aduddell said he plays the course about 10 times a year.
He’s familiar with the undulations near the green, which could be advantageous against the out-of-town competition. Aduddell also said little things like sleeping in their own beds and staying on other routines like pre-round meals will benefit the local golfers.
A strong short game is always a key for success in golf, but it’s especially true for Aduddell, said coach Jared Lotz, as his ball stroking is as steady as they come.
“His misses are not a bad miss at all, because he’s a great ball-striker,” Lotz said. “Everybody’s good shot is going to be good. But when he misses one, it’s just off the fairway. That’s definitely his strength.”
Staying steady is the key this week for Aduddell, who has plenty of motivation for a strong finish.
“My freshman year, I didn’t really leave a mark, so now I want to get my pictures up on the wall and set some records,” Aduddell said. “And now I know you can’t win on the first day but you can lose it on the first day. I just want to give myself a shot on the second day.”
Contact Matt Schoch at 417-836-1191 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MattSchochNL.