FULSHEAR, Texas-- At Weston Lakes Country Club, we found birdies and besties.
Father and son, actually.
Mark and Shaun Linsey are the perfect golf pairing, with some help from a different kind of practice.
"I like golf because it's a great sport for me, said Shaun, 26.
Shaun is living with autism. On the golf course, he drives (a golf cart) like a pro. But it's putting where Shaun really excels. "He's just a phenomenal putter," said father Mark. "Everything from 15-20 feet; he's just good."
After every good putt, Shaun pumps his fist. Lately, there's been handfuls of fist pumps.
Competing in what's called the Special Olympics' unified division, where Dad and Shaun alternate shots (says Shaun, "My dad does the long shots and the iron shots") the Linseys won an area title; a state title; then finished first in their category at the North American championships.
Hearing them talk strategy on the course? It's even more remarkable when you consider, doctors once thought Shaun would never speak.
"We were told to teach him sign language."
Enter Mom, Linda.
"I'm not going to give up," she said. "because I feel every child that has a disability has an ability.
Now this twosome, Mark and Shaun, can both say, their story is less about making shots and more about just playing together.
"(Dad) makes me feel very special," said Shaun.
"The best part about playing with Shaun is just watching him smile and having a good time. That's what its all about," added Mark.