Former Oklahoma State All-American Rickie Fowler had the largest gallery Monday at the Patriot Cup pro-am in Owasso.
Fowler, sixth on the PGA Tour money list, wore an orange Puma hat, orange shirt, orange shoes and white slacks. Hundreds of fans among the estimated crowd of 4,500 wore Puma hats and shirts.
“It's great to see a lot of little kids running around with Puma gear on,” Fowler said. “It's nice to see I can have an impact. Hopefully it's a positive impact and I can be a good role model.”
WEEDEN (ALSO) HAS HUGE FOLLOWING
Former OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden also had a huge gallery. Weeden stopped for photographs with fans and signed autographs all afternoon.
“When I was a kid it meant a lot to me when guys stopped,” Weeden said. “I'm never going to be a guy who walks by somebody. I'm going to stop and take as many pictures as I can. Obviously, you have time restraints, but I'll do what I can for kids and people that come out.”
Weeden's threesome lost 4-and-3 to 1995 U.S. Open champion Corey Pavin's group.
“I was told he's only been playing four years,” Pavin said. “He's a heck of an athlete to already play as good as he plays. He has a really good swing. I could see him being a really good player. And he's a really nice guy. He's a competitor. I hope he does well.”
Weeden left The Patriot Club straight for the Tulsa airport to report for OTAs Tuesday in Cleveland. The Browns selected Weeden in the first round of the NFL Draft in April.
AIR FORCE “WINS” PRO-AM TITLE
The Air Force defeated three military branches (Navy, Army and Marines) 13-6 in a three-man scramble Ryder Cup format.
The format matched pro golfers, celebrities and 38 military members, a change from last year when military players competed for individual honors.
“This was really special,” said Major Dan Rooney, founder of the Folds of Honor, the organization that raises money year round for college scholarships for children of military members who were killed or disabled in combat. “It's way more fun. We joked and laughed and ribbed one another.”
Players donated money on the No. 1 box by staking cash to the ground with a tee for Arronn D. Fields, a 27-year-old specialist from Knightsville, Ind., who was killed May 21 by a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Afghanistan.
The impromptu fundraiser accounted for more than $1,500 with at least six $100 bills staked to the tee box next to a small glass enclosed press release of Fields' story.
VERPLANK WORKING ON HIS GAME
Oak Tree pro Scott Verplank, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, has played in only five events this year after undergoing wrist surgery last September.
“I haven't had very good results. I'm just trying to get going,” Verplank said. “It's not horrible, but it's not where I want it to be.”
FIVE MAJOR WINNERS IN FIELD
The Patriot Cup featured five players that have won majors — Bob Tway (1986 PGA), Craig Stadler (1982 Masters); Tom Lehman (1996 British Open); Corey Pavin (1995 U.S. Open) and Todd Hamilton (2004 British Open).
“I've had a blast the past two years here. It's an awesome cause,” Stadler said. “They gave us carts this time. Thank God. This isn't an easy course to walk, but it's incredible what Dan (Rooney) has done.”
GILL RECEIVES HONOR
Country singer Vince Gill was the third recipient of the Corporal Brock Bucklin Patriot Award given annually the night before The Patriot Cup pro-am. Previous winners include former President George W. Bush and Pavin.
Gill is a scratch golfer. His threesome romped to a 5-and-3 win over actor Craig T. Nelson's group.
“I have been a zero (handicap) most of my adult life,” Gill said. “I work at nights so I can play golf all day.”