A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the 2023 TOUR Championship

By Jonathan Woods, Drew Charter School Student Correspondent

Last week, I was offered the chance to join the press team for the TOUR Championship and I took the offer with no hesitation. Initially, I anticipated a tour of the press operations or perhaps a glimpse behind the scenes, showing how much work is invested in the tournament beyond what is visible on TV.

While I certainty got that, my expectations were well exceeded, with the opportunity to interview Viktor Hovland fresh off his BMW Championship win. At first, I felt a bit nervous amidst the presence of other press members posing their questions. I couldn’t help but wonder if he would find my question enjoyable to answer when my turn came.

When the mic came to me, all my nerves went away when I asked him, “In 2018 you won the East Lake Cup here at East Lake. I was wondering, does that give you some sort of extra confidence coming into this week, since you’ve already won here before?” To my surprise his face lit up. He answered, “Yeah, thanks for the question. I think a little bit. It always helps when you have good memories somewhere. Just even the little things like on the back nine par-3 15. It’s a really hard hole. And I just remember the first time I played here at the East Lake Cup, I just remember hitting good shots into that hole. When you get a tough hole like that and you get off to a nice start, you just start seeing good shots into certain pins, certain holes, you just get a good feel from that. So hopefully I can put that in the back of my head and use later on this week. So, yeah, got some good memories here.”

After the interview, as I headed toward the So Cool Zone, I unexpectedly crossed paths with Jordan Spieth, who was making his way from the practice green. I managed to capture a few photos before continuing on. Upon reaching the So Cool Zone, I observed the 4th graders from Drew Charter School having fun, enjoying each other’s company, and making bracelets, which made me happy.

On my way back to the media tent, while taking in the scenery of East Lake Golf Club, I had the privilege of watching Tony Finau take practice tee shots on hole 16 and watching Rickie Fowler practice chip shots. Being selected as a Drew Student Correspondent and spending the day behind the scenes of the TOUR Championship was an incredible opportunity. I’m eagerly anticipating the future of my own golf journey as a Senior member of the Drew Charter School Golf Team. I’m also excited about my return to the TOUR Championship on Friday and Sunday to serve as a standard bearer.