When Brandt Snedeker effectively inherited the Vince Gill Junior Golf Tour six years ago, he had a clear vision of creating affordable playing opportunities for Tennessee’s junior golfers, with a slightly more vague notion of what it could mean for those players.
At least it was vague until Monday.
Snedeker, who sponsors the Sneds Tour in his home state, was busy preparing for this week’s Korn Ferry Tour event in Nashville, Tenn., which is run by his foundation, when he glanced at the scores from Monday’s qualifying event.
“I saw these two amateur kids making a run and thought, this is unbelievable,” Snedeker told GolfChannel.com.
The two kids were Nick Dunlap and Cameron Tankersley, who are both 17 and have played the Sneds Tour.
“It’s cool to see these kids grow up onto this tour, have success. The whole reason I’m doing this is for them to have somewhere to play. To have this kind of success is what this tour has been doing for a long time,” Snedeker said. “It’s such a cool feeling.”
Tankersley won a Sneds Tour event last month and is committed to play college golf at Lipscomb while Dunlap, who is from Huntsville, Alabama, played the junior tour last year and is committed to Alabama. Before college, however, the two will have a chance to test their games this week against Korn Ferry Tour talent.
“I grew up playing on this tour. It’s how I got to play tournament golf to begin with,” said Snedeker, who called Tankersley late Monday to congratulate him. “It’s the lowest round [Tankersley] has ever shot. He was so excited, wide eyed and couldn’t believe he did it.”
The Sneds Tour had 1,600 members last year, and Snedeker said the plan is to expand to about 95 events this year.