Last week, Dylan Murray was one tournament exemption shy of playing this weekend. Yet by Friday, Dylan not only stood in line at Players Registration with 71 other juniors at the Under Armour® / Hunter Mahan Championship, but he beat Hunter in a closest-to-the-hole competition.
Monday, Dylan was added to the field off the alternate list. Friday, he flew 1,600 miles from his home in Westport, Conn., to McKinney, Texas, excited by the mere thought of spotting Hunter out on the course. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine he'd out-shoot his idol.
"He's my favorite player so it means a lot to me," Dylan said, in a euphoria over the victory. "I try and copy his swing as much as I can and I really admire him."
As a part of the Hunter Mahan Clinic presented by Online Skills Coach, players were invited to compete against Hunter in a closest-to-the-hole competition. Dylan stepped up to the tee along with seven other brave juniors and hit a picture-perfect 150-yard shot, landing inches from the hole. Hunter shot second, landing a ball on the fringe of the green. Dylan's prize: an Under Armour® waterproof rain suit and a memory to last a lifetime.
At the clinic, Hunter took the time to give juniors and parents advice on practice drills, workout routines and mental preparation for tournaments, while also giving insight to his daily life. Hunter preached the importance of determination and practice to the captivated crowd of 175 spectators, adding "So much of golf is before we hit the shot."
"I committed to the shot, just like he said. And it paid off," Dylan said with a smile that could light up a ballpark. "I hope I can keep hitting shots like this all weekend."
– Written by Chelsea McCullough, AJGA Communications