We love golf…good thing cause that’s all we seem to do. Chris was asked to caddy for Dre in the web.com event in Raleigh, NC – Rex Hospital Open. Off they went on Monday night flying all night to Raleigh. They played a practice round with Michael and Troy on Tuesday and then had a pro am on Wednesday. It was great for Griff to be at this event since it was the first start for Troy Kelly in over a year and Michael Putnam was in the field as well. He was able to work with all of them during the week. The tournament started on Thursday and they played late. The weather was hot and muggy and thankfully Callaway gave Griff a feather light golf bag to lug around the hills of TPC Wakefield. They made the cut and Saturday was amazing – Dre shot 66 with 8 birdies and climbed the leader board. Andrew Putnam was in the hunt as well so it was fun to have such great representation from the Northwest back in Raleigh. They took in a few Durham Bulls games and had some great laughs. Even though Michael and Troy missed the cut, they hung around to practice. Dre finished birdie, birdie on Sunday to finish T-13th and Andrew finished T-3!!! While all of that was going on, Kyle was playing at The Memorial in Columbus. I held down the fort at home, teaching a few lessons, hosting a PGA Junior League match and keeping the studio open while watching as much golf as possible… even if it was just shot tracker (Fairway, green, putt). Kyle had an amazing finish on Sunday and climbed the leaderboard to a tie for 6th place with another birdie-birdie finish. He had some incredible bunker shots over the weekend as well! He was the last group to finish on Sunday before the rain delays as well…
Monday is know for the longest day in golf… 36 holes to qualify for the U.S. Open. Michael flew to Columbus from Raleigh with Andrew to play up there and Dre and Griff flew to Memphis to play where Dre won last year in Germantown. With weather delays and all, the boys managed to play some great golf. Sara flew into Memphis Monday morning and met Dre on the 7th hole of the day. Super fun to watch lots of golf in one day! Crazy how the qualifiers can come down to one stroke in 36 holes… Andrew missed a playoff by 1 in Columbus, Michael had to come back Tuesday morning for the playoff and Dre was unable to birdie either of his last 2 holes after over an hour rain delay to get into the playoff… Rather heartbreaking to be truthful. The longest day in golf really was a long day and after experiencing a liquor store in Memphis and finally grabbing some Taco Bell, we all slept great.
Michael failed to get one of the spots on Tuesday morning in the playoff, but because of withdraws from the U.S. Open he will be representing the PNW this next week. Ryan Moore actually withdrew because of a shoulder injury and Golf Channel was reporting it on the ticker on Thursday morning that Michael would be taking his place.
We had planned to have a practice round with all 3 boys on Tuesday afternoon, but the weather gods were not on our side… Dre managed to get in 7 holes with Rory Sabatini before the horns blew and after an hour an a half of chatting under the awning of TPC Southwind we all decided to call it a night. Michael, Joel, Dre, Griff and myself went on the hunt for some good BBQ – ONE AND ONLY BBQ did not disappoint. Fabulous food and a great atmosphere.
Kyle played in the pro am on Wednesday and was paired with Penny Hardaway, Denny Hamlin and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Following their group on the back nine was great fun! Penny asked Griff for some advice on 17 and it was great to see him help a 6’9” NBA star. The 2 race car drivers were both lefties and actually pretty good at golf. Very fun to watch them and realize they drive cars over 200 mph for a living! After the Pro Am, Griff worked with Dre and Michael for a bit on the range and I even got to be out there with them! Super fun to watch all these amazing athletes play golf. Some notables this week were David Duval, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Billy Horschel, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson and Griff got to meet Rickie Fowler in the locker room…
We headed down to Beale Street in the evening to check out downtown Memphis and found some more wonderful BBQ at Blues City Cafe. There was a biker event that night and we saw more types of motorcycles that I will ever remember. It was fun to hang out and watch the NBA Playoff game together and enjoy more great food.
Thursday was another full day of golf. Kyle teed off at 8:10 with Michael Thompson and Charlie Wi. We caught him at the turn and watched his 1 under front 9. Dre and Michael were only one group apart at 1:00 p.m. and 1:20 p.m. Dre had Derek Fathauer and Rafa Cabrera-Bello, while Michael was paired with Carl Pettersson and Johnson Wagner. We managed to see almost every shot between the two of us and by the time golf was over our phones had 1% and 2% left! Even though they didn’t play as well as they would have liked, it was great to watch them in the heat of battle and see how they played.
We had another great evening at Buffalo Wild Wings and watched the hockey playoff game while talking about more golf! We are now all reading Be A Player by Pia Nilsson and Lyn Marriott. Crazy how we can talk about golf after watching all day…
Griff and I had to head back to Seattle and battled the life of space available travel… we managed to land in Houston before the boys teed off today and were able to watch every shot on the PGA tour website. So excited that +1 made the cut and all 3 played over the weekend. Again funny how golf comes down to 1 shot. They battled like crazy and it is super fun to watch them play. These guys are in the top 1% of the world and we feel very fortunate to interact with them.
We look forward to watching Michael play next week at Erin Hills for the U.S. Open. Kyle is planning to take a week off and enjoy being home, while Dre and Troy are going to play at Air Capital Classic Supporting Wichita’s Youth. Our trip to Memphis was a great experience and we always love watching them play. Nothing like on course coaching! Wonder what event we will end up at next?!?!?