Day 3 At The FedEx St. Jude: A First Time For Everything
June 5, 2013
By: Glenn Hill II
MEMPHIS, TN- Day 3 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic did not disappoint. Filled with excitement and nervousness, I spent the morning bubbling at the new and highly recognizable faces of the PGA TOUR’s top players. After making my daily scan and scope of the players warming up on the driving range, my day began in the media room.
Boo Weekly, 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational winner and a PGA TOUR favorite, made his way up to the media center to answer some questions and to give us all a good laugh. When asked why he enjoys coming to Memphis to play the FedEx St. Jude Classic, he responded, “We all understand each other. We ain’t got to do no translating amongst us.” This is why we like Weekly; he is who he is and he will not change for anyone.
Fresh off of his May 26th win at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, Weekly attributes his continued focus and dedication to his putting the key to his recent victory and success. “Just trying to get my swing path and my speed all to match up at the same time” describes just what he and his coach Scott Hamilton have been working on with the SAM PuttLab training system. More emphasis on putting as well as changing his attitude on the golf course are what Weekly says have changed his golf game and gotten him focused and back into winning shape.
After seeing Boo Weekly for the first time, I hitched a ride with Golf Channel’s Scott Walker and we drove around to the 9th green for a post-round interview with Phil Mickelson. Phil, a lefty like myself, has been my biggest golfing inspiration. To see how he carries himself on the course and backs that up with phenomenal play is truly motivation for me. Phil Mickelson cares about people. As he finished his pro-am round he was more than willing to sign every autograph as star-struck fans eagerly awaited for his arrival. It is understandable why so many people want Mickelson to come to the FedEx St. Jude Classic; it’s because he wants to be here. Mickelson is the second highest ranked player in this week’s field at 10th in the world with Brandt Snedeker being the top ranked player at 6th. “I like playing the week before” Mickelson describes his reason to play an event the week before the U.S Open, golf’s second major tournament. Mickelson also enjoys the challenge of making birdies at TPC Southwind, “I love the small greens... I’ve always thought of it as a fun, fair test.” You can bet that Mickelson enjoys making birdies, and does a pretty good job at it too. With a birdie or better conversion percentage of 38.35%, Mickelson ranks 1st in that category on the PGA TOUR.
Another crowd favorite and 2005 FedEx St. Jude champion Justin Leonard will be making the field this week as well. My interview with Justin Leonard will always remain special to me as Mr. Leonard was my very first interview with a professional golfer. It was on my own, on my own initiative, and I received great responses from Justin Leonard, a true gentleman. When asked about the difficulty of the golf course in comparison to the state of his golf game, Leonard believes, “You’ve got to play defense at times...I think it’s real important here to pick your spots wisely.” With TPC Southwind being a par 70 course, meaning only two par 5’s on the course, coupled with the small greens Mickelson described, this week’s field will have to value accuracy over distance. This style of play will be a great tune-up for what next week’s U.S. Open will demand from the best players in the world.
Day 3 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic was amazing. Now it is time for all of the preparation the pros have made this week to be put to the test as round one begins tomorrow. I will be ready to watch; I know that they will be ready to play.
Glenn Hill II, a senior, is an exceptional student and talented musician at Harding Academy. He holds a 4.05 weighted grade point average and scored 28 on the ACT. He currently ranks fifth in the senior class. He has been selected for the All West Senior High Band, Orchestra and Junior Band. He also was 1st Chair in the University of Memphis Honor Blue Band (top band). He has been an orchestra member in two school musicals and was selected for All Southwest Chorus as a Tenor 2. An integral member of the school’s senior wind ensemble, jazz band and orchestra, Glenn is also the principal trombonist in the MemphisYouth Symphony. As a trombonist he has received many awards including junior band award as a freshman and the Barry Lumpkin Outstanding Musician Award as a junior. Last summer he was the recipient of the Summer Trombone Scholarship at the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts held at MTSU. Glenn is an extraordinary role model for younger students. He is vice-president of the senior wind ensemble and takes this leadership role seriously. He makes a positive impact daily and has the respect of his peers.