Future Stars At The Rockford Pro-Am?

ROCKFORD-The Rockford Pro/Am used to bring in big names like Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, and Chi Chic Rodriguez. Now it's going after less pricey future stars. Three of them were at the Pro-Am event Monday.

Senior player Kenny Perry was this year's headliner as he has been numerous times, but the guys to watch were a trio who just finished up their college careers. Bobby Wyatt was on back-to-back NCAA Team Championships at Alabama. Cameron Wilson was the NCAA individual champion at Stanford. And Patrick Rodgers was college golf's player of the year at Stanford. For the past month though they've been pros.

"I'm really excited to have the opportunity to play on the PGA Tour," says Wyatt. "It's been a lifelong dream of mine to get there so, to be able to play has just been a blast for me."

Rodgers might be the one with the most star potential. He was the number one ranked amateur in the world, and he tied Tiger Woods' Stanford record of 11 tournament wins.

"It was really fun college season this year being mentioned along with Tiger Woods and chasing his school record. I had a blast doing that," says Rodgers. "Anytime you're mentioned alongside probably the greatest player ever to play in the game of golf it's really special."

"The sky is definitely the limit with Patrick," says Rockford Pro-Am recruiter Adam Nicholas. "We're getting him at just the right time. He's only played four PGA Tour events at this point, but anybody that can tie or break Tiger Woods' marks at Stanford that speaks for itself."

"The golf stuff is very similar to what we've been dealing with," says Wilson. "The golf courses are maybe better, but not necessarily harder than what we've been used to. But managing your down time, managing your travel and being able to play a lot of weeks in a row is a skill we need to learn."

Someday these guys will be playing for the big money, but now they're happy to pocket a few extra bucks when they can playing in a Pro-Am like this one.

What advice does 53 year old Perry have for the kids?

"I tell these young kids when I mentor them that you're probably only going to play well in five tournaments. I mean super well when your golf game is there. It's on point," says Perry. "You just need to be ready for those five tournaments. When the door's open you need to go in there and win that tournament."

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