by Tom Schellenberg – Assistant to the General Manager at Muirfield Village Golf Club and 2013 Alumni – Bachelor of Business, Golf Management
Working the Sunday of the 2013 President’s Cup at Muirfield Village Golf Club was a dream come true. After working our way through an eventful and rainy week, today blew my expectations out of the water (no pun intended). Just merely the fact that we completed Saturday’s matches and Sunday’s singles matches was a miracle for all of us. The weather forecast looked like it wasn’t going to be possible and after four days in a row of rain our spirits were getting worn down. The excitement that Sunday brought to the International fans when it looked like they had a shot to win the President’s Cup made the entire atmosphere around the club electric. All of the sudden everyone started paying closer attention, intensifying every shot. I can only imagine the amount of pressure that the players were feeling out there when they were coming in on the final few holes with over 38,000 people cheering and chanting. Not to forget the 800 000 000 households watching around the world.
This morning the air felt thick because of all of the moisture from the rain that hit us over the last three days. The excitement and anticipation of the singles matches was enough to carry me through another long day. Seeing the players warm up under the lights again at 6 in the morning is something that I will never forget. There was a noticeable shift in the intensity on their faces when they were moving into the singles matches. The players all seem a little more tense and focused because now their match rests entirely on them. Keegan Bradley made a putt on the 18th hole for birdie to halve the match after Canadian Graham DeLaet had just chipped in for birdie. Keegan said that that putt was the most nervous he has ever been in his entire golfing career! That is amazing to hear but not surprising considering the spirited chanting of all of the fans and the global recognition of this event. Our Canadian did us very proud chipping in twice on the 18th hole on Sunday to finish with a 3-1-1 record, which gives him the second best record of the week next to Tiger Woods.
After Tiger Woods officially won the President’s Cup for the USA Team and all of the matches were completed, the teams all went back to their team cabins to celebrate. I went down to the cabins to deliver all of the players their stuff from their lockers. It was such an unbelievable experience to see all of the players celebrating, drinking, smiling, and just having a blast with one another. In the USA cabin the guys were all taking pictures with the President’s Cup and drinking out of it, playing loud music and joking around with one another. All of their caddies and wives/girlfriends were there and it was a big party. The International Team Cabin was a similar feel but instead the players were taking turns thanking each other and the captains for such a great week. Seeing the players stand up and talk about the week was unbelievable. I was so excited to be a part of that and it was just a testament to how great of people these guys are to one another. Veterans like Ernie Els seem so relaxed and confident amongst the young players such as Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth.
Next, Freddy Couples came into the International Cabin and thanked Nick Price for the competitive week. I was standing right in between the two while Freddy genuinely thanked Nick and presented him with a gift he had got made for himself and the proceeds went to a charity in South Africa. I witnessed such an act of class by both captains towards each other in front row seats. They were both directly in front of me and watching this was enough to make me shake. These two are such admirable people in the way they carry themselves and to be able to show great acts of sportsmanship after the event is special.
Thinking about this week gives me so much energy and makes me feel so lucky to be where I am. I was personally thanked by a number of the players who remembered my name from the Memorial Tournament including Adam Scott, Jason Day, Webb Simpson, Bill Haas, and Graham DeLaet, which makes me feel like I had a significant impact on the event. Words can’t describe the complete and utter fulfillment that came over me when I was walking out of the club by myself tonight. It was so quiet around me in the dark as I again walked past the massive grand stands and the President’s Cup flags that blew in the wind lining the entire driveway. I am unbelievably happy to have been part of such a global tournament and look forward to more experiences like this one in the future.
More on Tom…
Tom Schellenberg is the Assistant to the General Manager at Muirfield Village Golf Club and a 2013 graduate from the Bachelor of Business- Golf Management program at Georgian College.
Tom is a young man filled with tremendous ambition for the life and career that lay before him. His focus in the golf industry and dedicated work ethic have lead him to experience some of the top golf clubs in the world. Tom’s burning passion for traveling the world with a purpose will undoubtedly drive him to a life full of fulfillment, success, and happiness.