AJGA alum and PGA TOUR professional Scott Stallings returned to his home course this week in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to help host the 2015 Under Armour® / Scott Stallings Championship. For the second consecutive year, 96 players competed in the 54-hole, stroke play event at Oak Ridge Country Club. This will be the third year in a row Stallings, who has amassed 11 top-10 finishes including three wins in his professional career, will host an AJGA tournament.
“Having an AJGA event at the place I grew up at is pretty special, but it is also the only AJGA event in East Tennessee,” Stallings said. “It’s a great way to showcase kids from the area and give them a chance to play and increase their status with the AJGA.”
Prior to Tuesday’s first round, Stallings held a “Big Break” type skills challenge during his Q&A clinic Monday afternoon. The challenge consisted of four used windshields set up at various yardages on the driving range, each worth 10-40 points. More than 20 teams of four juniors competed in the activity. Each team had 90 seconds to hit the windshields as many times as they could. The group with the most points after the allotted time won the challenge.
“I wanted the clinic to be interactive and be something that no one in a tournament had done before,” Stallings said. “It’s a cool way to kick off the event and create some excitement for the week.”
“The biggest key is attitude,” Stallings said. “I didn’t play at the biggest school and I didn’t always have the best record, but I knew if I continued to improve and continued to try to learn from my mistakes, I would get better. A solid attitude will make up for a lot.”
Stallings said he believes a college golf background and education is key to a solid future.
“It gives you an understanding of where you stand and where you need to get better,” Stallings said. “You need to get into that upper competitive environment where you take the cream of the crop from the junior golf environment and play against the next level. It helps you to figure out how you need to improve so you can move on and continue to get better.”
In Stallings’ eyes, it all starts with the AJGA.
“The AJGA has created an intense competitive environment for sure, but they have also created a lot of opportunity in all areas,” Stallings said. “They have created a gateway for competitive golf from middle school through the high school level.”