Wilson Furr makes quick fans of PGA Junior League kids from Hazeltine

Wilson Furr makes quick fans of PGA Junior League kids from Hazeltine

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Wilson Furr makes quick fans of PGA Junior League kids from Hazeltine

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CHASKA, Minn. – On Wednesday afternoon at Hazeltine National, Chris Baisch, the teaching pro at the club, took a group of about 11 kids from his PGA Junior League team to the range to watch members of the Junior Ryder Cup teams hit balls.

The first competitor to show up was Alabama commit Wilson Furr, an 18-year-old from Jackson, Miss. The kids immediately took a liking to Furr.

“They just started cheering for him hitting shots,” Baisch said. “Then they started egging him on to hit driver and see how far he could hit it, and then they were trying to have him hit to different pins and see if he could make any.”

When Furr hit a flag with one of his shots on the range, the kids let out a big cheer. And when he hit a shot that wasn’t to their liking, they let him hear about it, too.

“They started heckling me so I started messing with them,” Furr said. “We were all talking and they decided they wanted to come watch (me play). It was really cool.”

So Furr’s new fan club, now known as the “Furrballs,” followed their new golf idol to the first tee and watched him tee off in a nine-hole friendship match alongside U.S. teammate Emilia Migliaccio, and Europe’s Adrien Pendaries and Pauline Roussin-Bouchard.

“On the first tee they were just going nuts,” Baisch said.

The enthusiasm continued throughout the round. Furr missed a few birdie putts early, but when he made birdie at the par-5 16th hole, the Furrballs cheered from just off the green, fist-pumping and high-fiving.

For Baisch, who started coaching the team two years ago and has seen it grow from 12 kids last year to 16 this year, it was a cool moment.

“I’m excited just for them to experience this and hopefully just want to be able to play golf more or see this and try to aspire to get to this point,” Baisch said. “… Just trying to give them some perspective where they can grow with the game.”

After the round, the Furrballs posed for pictures and got autographs from Furr. Baisch said he hopes Furr can make a trip back up to Hazeltine to spend more time with his fan club.

Furr knows the Furrballs would love that, and he was touched that he could have an impact on them.

“That’s really what it’s all about in the end,” Furr said. “Little kids running around having a good time on the golf course, and if you can say that they might have done that because of you, that’s just the greatest feeling.”

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