FESJC Jr. Course Reporter: Day 5

Day 5 at TPC Southwind:  Adjustments

June 7, 2013

By: Glenn Hill II

MEMPHIS, TN- TPC Southwind is not a course to be taken lightly.  With challenges and severe penalties for poor shots on every hole, this short par 70 course still can pack a punch.  There is a reason 66 was the lowest score during round 1; to score even lower will take some adjustments.

PGA TOUR sophomore Harris English knows exactly what it means to make adjustments on this course as he fired a 6 under par 64 in round 2, currently taking the lead over such an accomplished field at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.  

“It’s really about getting comfortable out here...just trying to get better every day” is how English explains his low round today.  After shooting a respectable 66 in round 1, English began to pull away from the field early.  Going 5 under par within his first 5 holes today, with 3 birdies and an eagle, you can say that English made the necessary adjustments after round 1 play.  Sometimes experience can be your best teacher. “I’m just trying to learn from a lot of the veterans out here.”

While English has secured his spot in the weekend with a stellar Friday round, other players that are flirting with the cut line have a little bit more work to do make sure payday comes this week.

With 155 players arriving to TPC Southwind in hopes of capturing a victory in Memphis, 78 of those players must return home empty-handed.  You can bet that players and their caddies competing for the final 77 spots in the weekend encompass the entire gamut of emotions on Fridays.

From stress and nervousness, to excitement and abject frustration, these strong emotions permeate the golf course as tension grows during a Friday PGA TOUR event.

“Stand Please,”  “Can you stop walking?  Thank you,” and “Please do not stand behind the players while they are hitting, thank you” are all strong suggestions addressed to these excited crowds by tournament volunteers and concerned caddies.

Now while these suggestions are made during every round from Thursday to Sunday, Fridays are the days where these suggestions can affect a player’s ability to play the weekend.

During Friday’s round I constantly noticed Brandt Snedeker’s caddy asking the gallery to stand and pointing out positions on where he would like the crowd to stand. Watching Snedeker’s group both on Thursday and Friday, I did not sense the strong suggestions for the crowd until round 2.  From my observations the more concerned the caddy, the more likely the player is hovering around the cut line.

Consequently, Snedeker posted a 73 on Friday, finishing +3 and catching the next flight out of Memphis.  

Weekly PGA TOUR events are individually unique.  Although players are playing golf most weeks, the fans come out to an event only once a year.  As excitement and expectations accumulate as the PGA TOUR season goes on, and time gets closer for a tour event to reach a new location, local fans’ emotions begin to culminate.  

It is understandable that fans are excited.  They see these professionals every day on television, yet only witness them in person once a year.  It is understandable that they want as many autographs as possible, because they must be patient and wait 365 days until they get another one.  Therefore, it is completely understandable that these fans here at TPC Southwind bubble at the sight of every professional golfer and try to get as close as they can to the professionals, even during a round of golf.  

It is easy to sympathize with both these players and professionals.  There is a fine line separating the ambitions of these two groups.  

You have the fans who are eager to be with the pros.  On the other hand, you have the pros who are trying to make a living playing golf, but also trying to cater to the needs and wants of the fans.  

This is a tough two-way street to travel.  

What’s the solution to balancing the lives of the professional and the fan?

I’m not sure.  But what I am sure about is that the better informed we are about these situations, the more prepared we are in making decisions to collaborate the lives of the professional and the fan more appropriately on the PGA TOUR.  

---

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.