POTOMAC, Md. — EDITOR'S NOTE: WUSA9 is the media sponsor of the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship, hosted at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms.
The Wells Fargo Championship Pro-Am was a day that four golfers from Historically Black Colleges and Universities won't soon forget. The HBCU students were paired with Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy is a former number one in the Official World Golf Ranking, spending more than 100 weeks at the top spot. He's won four Major Championships and has 20 wins on the PGA Tour.
“It was a wonderful Pro-Am. It’s great, there are a lot of Wednesdays in Pro-Am’s that aren’t as fun as something like today. To be able to spend time with these guys and see what great golfers they are but also the great people that they are as well," said Mcllroy.
"I was sent all their CVs and bios last night and just the list of things they’ve done and accomplished at a young age – it was really, really impressive. It was really nice to spend some time with them this morning," he added when talking about the four HBCU students.
Today happens to be McIlroy's 33rd birthday and at the first tee, the HBCU golfers made sure he felt special too, singing him "Happy Birthday."
"I really appreciate them singing 'Happy Birthday' to me," said McIlroy.
McIlroy also offered advice as they played 9 holes of golf at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. “It was amazing – super friendly, super just helpful. Asked him some tips for chipping and he was willing to give them to me so I can take them back and give them to our kids when I coach them, so they’re really appreciative of it," said Lennard Long.
Long is from Washington D.C. and helps out with the First Tee chapter of Greater Washington. First Tee is a youth development organization introducing the game of golf and its inherent values to young people. All of the HBCU golfers in the Pro-Am were alumni of the First Tee, including Hampton University senior, Jakari Harris.
"It was unreal. You know you see these pro’s on TV and then you get a chance to see them in-person, let alone play with them. It was an amazing experience for sure," said Harris.
“Through our long-standing relationship with First Tee, we are proud to create new opportunities for young, diverse golfers throughout The Wells Fargo Championship," said Pam Batalis, Wells Fargo SVP of Sponsorships and Brand Engagement.
From the youth golf clinic at the historic Langston Golf Course to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for four HBCU students and alumni to play in the Pro-Am with Rory McIlroy, Wells Fargo is creating access to unique experiences in golf as part of its history of support of HBCUs," Batalis continued.