POTOMAC, Md. — EDITOR'S NOTE: WUSA9 is the media sponsor of the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship.
Gregory Odom Jr. is making history this week. The senior golfer at Howard University is set to become the first Bison to play in a PGA Tour event when he tees off at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm for the Wells Fargo Championship.
Odom is playing as an amateur on a sponsor exemption.
“I was actually really shocked, and now I’m just happy that a company like Wells Fargo is giving me the opportunity to play in the PGA Tour tournament because it’s always been my dream and now my dream is coming true," he said.
Odom will tee off Thursday, and is ready to play alongside some of the best golfers in the world this week. His coach at Howard, Samuel Puryear Junior, said Odom getting the chance to live out his dream, gives hope to his teammates and peers.
“Now they see anything is possible," Puryear said. "All the hard work on days when no one is watching makes a difference because it all comes out in the wash. For the rest of the team, they are so excited. They’ll all be out here, following him, watching him play."
Odom says he hopes to see, "Jordan Speith, Dustin Johnson, and all the big top 10 guys" when he plays.
"I’m just here to compete at the highest level so I want to play with those guys," Odom said, adding that it hasn't quite hit him yet, but he believes it will when he gets to the first hole, Thursday.
Puryear said he has high expectations for Odom.
“I’m excited for him but my expectations are so high, I might be kind of salty if he’s not making pars and birdies," his coach said. "I guess I’m supposed to just be happy he’s here but for me, why would I just be happy that he’s here? I want him to do really really well."
Three years ago, NBA All-Star Stephen Curry, rebooted Howard's golf programs.
"He has an amazing talent," Curry said upon learning that Odom would be making his Tour debut. "I'm excited for him."
This week is a bittersweet one for Odom, as it marks the one year anniversary of his dad’s death. His father, Gregory Odom Sr., introduced him to golf when he was 4-years-old, and was a huge part of his success.
Odom says he still hears his dad's voice on the course.
"I think he would just say, that he would be very excited for me, and tell me to take my time and enjoy the experience. To just to slow down and just try to hit the best shot I can hit."