The First Tee in conjunction with the Champions Tour is excited to offer an opportunity for juniors of The First Tee to cover the tournament from their perspective. Follow the junior blogs below from The 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities. These Junior Course Reporters”will be asked to cover a wide variety of topics involved with the tournament, as well as the tournament itself. They will also interact with golf media, PGA Champions Tour Executives, and even participate in a question and answer session in the Media Tent. See below for Junior Reporters Stories from 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities. For more information on the tournament go to www.3mchampionship.com
Juniors Kaileigh (Left) & Jay (Right)
Pictures below with Defending 3M Champion Kenny Perry & MN Hockey Legend Lou Nanne
Written by : Kaileigh Vennewitz,
Junior reporter at the 3M championship.
My day started when I walked into the media room and met Brian Stensaas. (Pictured above) He is a digital sports editor for the Star Tribune and he edits papers reporters send to him. He was inspired to do the news because he wanted to get his name in the paper. The biggest events he has done are the Women's Final Four and the Frozen Four. His favorite places to travel to are Hawaii and New Orleans. He has covered the Timberwolves and the PGA Championship along with the Minnesota Wild. Some famous people he has met are Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jim Furyk. He’s met a lot of people because he's been at the Star Tribune for 8 or 9 years. He knows Arnold Palmer and also said Bernhard Langer is a really nice guy. This has been his ninth year he’s covered golf because he really loves it. His advice to everyone is the more you read the better writer you will be. Never give up, be willing to move away from different things and discover new things.
After that we ate lunch and met with Kenny Perry. One question I asked him was “What is your practice routine?” he said, “One day I do pitching, then the odd iron clubs and then the driver. The next day I do pitching, then the even iron clubs and then the driver. The driver is the most important club because it can get you farther.” I also asked him “Did anyone inspire you to play golf?”, he said, “My dad. I would play with him on the weekends and I got lessons when I started college.” At the end of the interview we took some pictures with him which was really cool and exciting! After we talked with Kenny Perry, we went around and looked at the short game practice area and the driving range. Then we went to the 18th hole to go see some famous players like Rod Spittle, I got his autograph.
Then we went back to the media tent and had an interview with Miguel Angel Jimenez. I only got to ask him a few questions but still it was really cool talking to him. I asked him “What is the most important thing you believe made you successful?” He replied, “Believe in yourself, work hard, and practice on the course and on the range, and especially on the short game.” “Did anyone inspire you to play golf?” “Seve Ballesteros, he was a great guy and I wanted to be just like him. He was a Spanish professional golfer, a World No.1 who was one of the sport’s leading figures from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, he was really just a great guy.”
After that we went to see Fred Funk and Kenny Perry (again). I interviewed Fred Funk while he was playing and Jay the other reporter interviewed Kenny Perry so you can check out Jay’s blog too. We went to see them and I had an amazing time with Mr. Funk. He made me laugh and I thought he was extremely nice to speak too. I also met Lou Nanne as he was playing on the same team with Fred Funk. He was very nice as well and I got his autograph. While Fred was waiting to tee off I was able to ask him a few questions, “ What is the most important thing you believe made you successful?”, “Great caddie, commitment, and I just kept practicing.” “What is your practice routine?” “Short game, always short game, that’s the most important thing. I would always practice for two or three hours just on my game, sometimes longer, but it is becoming harder since I’m getting older.” “Did anyone inspire you to play golf and how old were you when you started?” “My dad, he was a great golfer and I would always caddie for him, that’s how I got interested in playing because I wanted to be just like him. I was ten years old then.” I was able to witness Mr. Funk tee off. He used his driver. “Wow what an amazing drive”! As he walked to his ball, I asked him,. “What is your favorite tournament?” “ Ohh that’s a tough one I love them all, but I do love The Players Championship and the U.S Open at Hazeltine back in 2002 was special.”. “If golf didn’t work out what did you want to be when you grew up?” “ I wanted to be a cop because I thought it would be so cool to be a cop.”, “ What do you like to do outside of golf?” “ I like to be with my family because you know family is always great and I love to go fishing.” “ What was the Masters experience like?” “Best tournament, it was a very special place, also a very beautiful place.” “Why do you think there are so many good young players in the game of golf right now?” “Well Tiger Woods made it special, he made it cool for young people to get into the game.” “What is the story behind your golf bag?”, “ I actually just got that golf bag, I love our military. It’s for fallen families, people who have lost someone, it helps families by giving them children scholarships for college.” “When people hear your name what do you want them to remember you by?” “I want them to remember me as a people person, I love people!”
Well I love people too and speaking with Fred was the highlight of my day. I truly enjoyed my time with him. He would always keep positive even if he had a bad shot. He would make a joke out of it and move on and try to do better on the next shot. What a great attitude to have!
It was really great interviewing all the players. I am really grateful for having the opportunity to meet these players and represent the The First Tee of the Twin Cities.
Thank you, Kaileigh
Kaileigh Bio: My name is Kaileigh Vennewitz, I have played for Visitation High School Golf team since I was in 7th grade. I have also been involved with the First Tee of St. Paul at Highland, first receiving lessons from Franco Zerna when I was in the second grade. This summer I have had the privilege to volunteer. Golf is a huge part of my family. I was inspired to play golf by my grandfather, Ray Vennewitz. In the future, I hope to continue to volunteer for the 1st Tee and improve on my game.