Kerry Deacon, my friend and golf partner in the HBE Alumni league at Creve Coeur Golf Course, convinced me to join him as a volunteer working “security” at The St. Jude Classic. It has been played at TPC Southwind, near Memphis, since 1989. Daniel Berger gained his first PGA Tour win last year (June 2016) here and managed to repeat this year (2017).
I worked the BMW Championship (part of the FedEx Cup playoffs in which Camilo Villegas emerged victorious). I was on the communications committee at that event held at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis in 2008. I also worked the Senior PGA Tour Championship as volunteer assigned to leaderboards and as a hole marshall in 2013. So, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday June 8-11, 2017 I enjoyed excellent access to TPC Southwind in exchange for wearing a walkie talkie and looking “official” in cap, shorts, and FedEx St. Jude Classic t-shirt.
Jean Farrar, my daughter-in-law’s mother, lives in Germantown, TN and was good enough to allow us a place to board two nights. We managed to fit in a bit of tourism by visiting the giant Pyramid downtown where there is almost a theme park atmosphere complete with Bass Pro Shop, hotel, restaurants, plenty of taxidermy to admire, live fish to watch and a lovely view of the area from another restaurant near the top. We managed to sample some famous BBQ at Corky’s and the Commisary too.
Once back in St. Louis, I was able to boast a bit about watching the likes of Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk play the game. I recalled the feeling of following the 26 year old Dominic Bozzelli, an Auburn University graduate from upstate New York, who finished this tournament tied for tenth.
I’ve been to The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club (Jack Nicklaus’ course) in Ohio, the Doral in Miami and visited TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Of course, I watch a lot of golf on TV including much of this year’s U.S. Open from Erin Hills in Wisconsin.
Note: Brooks Koepka tied for 37th place at FedEx St. Jude Classic and today (one week later on June 18, 2017) won the U.S. Open at Erin Hills! Needless to say, I have a newfound appreciation of just how good these guys really are on the PGA Tour
Photos (top) Dominic Bozelli with his caddie and garden caddie (bottom) Phil Michelson and his caddie. FedEx VIP area, one day passes - Enjoy, Y'all (bottom smaller photo) Kerry Deacon with Ken Adams (our security committee captain)