Golfers of all ages dream of a day like this. A day when they will have an opportunity to compete against the likes of a Tiger Woods or a Phil Mickelson.
Well that day has come for one local golfer and instead of being just excited, he's motivated by playing with the best.
"I think it will hit me when I'm on the practice range and can see Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson all on the same tee. I think that's when it will really sink in," Fairmont State sophomore golfer Jess Ferrell said.
Jess Ferrell won't have to watch this weekend's Greenbrier on national television like most of America. Instead, he decided to take the more scenic route and actually play in the tournament. But he says it didn't come easy.
"Jim Justice gives an exemption for the winner since this year's classic is before the Amateur. He gave out two exemptions, one for first place and one for runner-up. I didn't know that until the last round. They called me before and told me I was four shots back from second. So I made a run at it and we were tied after the final 18. So we went to a playoff and I won the playoff for the exemption," Ferrell said.
Ferrell's second place finish at the West Virginia Amateur last summer reserved his spot in this year's Greenbrier tournament. The former East Fairmont standout and current Fairmont State golfer admits he was even taken off guard when he found out the good news. But he knows golf is a game that runs off confidence and right now he says he's about as confident as he's ever been in his golfing career.
"About as high as it can get," Ferrell responded. "So I need to work hard and do my best, that's all I can do. So we'll see where my game is at."
Ferrell posted as average score of 73 during his sophomore season at Fairmont State. The way he looks at it, if he can maintain that same score at a much tougher course such as the Greenbrier, then he'll be in good shape heading into the weekend. But at the end of the day it's not about the wins and losses. Instead, it's an experience that will stay with him the rest of his life.
"It's a dream I had," Ferrell said. "But I didn't think I'd be playing in it this young, being in my mid-20's and getting on tour."