“Whenever you see Jack Nicklaus in the airport, you say ‘Hi Mr. Nicklaus,’ never ‘Hi Jack.’ Unless you want to be arrested.” This was just one small bit of the inspired wisdom provided by Chi Chi Rodriguez to the 79 boys playing this week at the Puerto Rico Junior Open.
The Puerto Rico native took some time to come out to Trump International Golf Club this week to speak to the field and put on a clinic following the first round. Rodriguez entertained the crowd with stories about his idols Ben Hogan and Mother Teresa and reliving his biggest thrill in golf; winning the Denver Open Invitational.
With his brilliant charisma we have come to love and adore, Chi Chi emphasized the importance of honesty and integrity while always believing in yourself. Rodriguez reminded the players that “a hero dies only once, but a coward dies every single day,” as they prepared to tee it up this week in search of the coveted exemption into the Puerto Rico Open that will be awarded to the champion.
Each and every junior was able to soak up guidance and advice from the legend that won eight times on the PGA TOUR and 22 times on the Champions Tour, something they will never forget. Thanks to Chi Chi for being a great role model for all of us and an even better ambassador for the game of golf!
-Photo and blog by Casey Ceman, AJGA Tournament Director