First Tee of Atlanta participants, Cameron Everett and Vitthal Parker are junior reporters for the 2012 FedEx TOUR Championship. See their blogs below.
Day -2 at the TOUR Championship Sponsored by Coca-Cola
By: Cameron Everett, The First Tee of Atlanta Junior On Course Reporter
We started early in the morning at around 8:30 as usual with breakfast at the Media Center. It was just another routine activity until Tim Rosaforte, interviewer and essayist for the Golf Channel, approached us and gave kind words and positive reinforcements to help us in our future. At around 9:00 we went to the practice range. It was an eerie feeling to see that the entire course was void of people, excluding the hard working volunteers of course. I finally had the chance to slow down and take in the beautiful scenery on the course. Of course it was short lived as the flood of spectators quickly filled the course and it was time for me to start my day.
The first person to step foot on the range this morning was Darius Davis, a student of the First Tee of East Lake, who was selected to hit the ceremonial tee shot at today’s event. He seemed confident and ready to go as he stepped inside the ropes and started his routine. Davis’ mother and mentors could not help but show their pride in his success on and off the course. Soon after he finished warming up and left to prepare for the ceremony the players began coming out of the locker room and onto the range. We were given a chance to see their unique practice routines up close and personal. Hunter Mahan chips across the range, Ernie Els focused hard on his tempo, as usual, and others let it rip down the range to get loose. It goes to show there are few, if any wrong ways to practice before a round. It is all personal preference.
At 11:00 the opening ceremony began and on the tee box for the ceremonial drives were Darius Davis and member of the Georgia Tech as well as the Georgia Hall of Fame, Charlie Harrison. They both took big swings at the ball and Darius Davis crushed his shot right down the left side of the fairway and turned to a huge round of applause from the audience. The musicians from the military began playing a series of lively tunes that kept the masses occupied while they anxiously waited at the first tee box for John Senden and Scott Piercy to tee off.
After lunch we visited the Military Pavilion in time to sit in on the Birdies for the Brave ceremony. It was an emotional time for everyone in the room as we recognized the sacrifices our men and women in the military make to protect and serve us. On our way back to the Media Center we decided to stop by the Chevron STEM tent where we interviewed Bianca LaRussa, Project Manager and Events Specialist. The company seeks to peak interest in youth in the fields of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. They have found fun ways for people to enjoy learning basic and even more complex laws of physics involving aerodynamics, acceleration down slopes, and quantified properties of gravity.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as an On Course Reporter at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. It has given me and hopefully those who have viewed my blog a better understanding of the behind the scenes workings and an idea of the community outreach programs that the PGA committee and players take to heart. They realize that the players are important but it is even more important to continue to improve the communities that need help.
Day 2: Tour Championship Presented by Coca-Cola Reporter
I am excited to be able to report the events of the opening round of the TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. There will be a lot of special activities going on throughout the day as well as many special guests such as the Charles Drew Charter School choir, a military band, color guard, and the PGA commissioner.
The driving range was a big attraction this morning. Watching the TOUR players warm up is quite interesting. The sounds, ball flights, and distances grasp the crowd’s attention. They constantly point out the players’ techniques and wow at the shots. After a few of the players finished on the range the crowd dispersed and moved over to the grand stand on the first tee to watch the opening ceremonies.
The first round of play began today with the opening ceremonies. The First Tee played a major role in the ceremonies with member Darius Davis hitting one of the opening shot and several The First Tee members standing inside the ropes. The opening ceremony was beautiful and started the tournament off in an honorable fashion. There was also a strong military presence (military personnel are admitted free into the tournament. The Birdies for the Brave organization is a benefiting charity along with the First Tee and the East Lake foundation.)
At one o’clock today there was a ceremony at the Birdies for the Brave Military pavilion located around the sixteenth green. There was much appreciation for all of the men and women who have and continue to honorably serve our country. It was a pleasure to meet some of these brave men and women. We had a chance to converse and take pictures with them, which was an honor for me.
Lastly we visited the Chevron STEM (science technology engineering and mathematics) pavilion where visitors learn about the physics of golf and the golf ball. It is beyond words how complicated the science is behind a golf swing, golf ball, and golf club. We had a chance to play with the golf simulator, and examine the angle of breaks in a putt and the spin rate of a golf ball.
The opening activities today provided the spectators with lots of information about all the good things the TOUR Championship does for the East Lake community and other charities. This was an opening day to remember.