Some of the best golfers from all around the United States are now assembled in Pacific Palisades, Calif., for one of the biggest events in professional golf: the Northern Trust Open of the PGA TOUR that starts today. Among the competitors are two Pepperdine alumni Andy Walker and Jason Gore, who both played a part in Pepperdine’s NCAA Championship victory in 1997.
As a 1998 alum, Arizona native Andy Walker is a newcomer to the PGA TOUR event. Walker is mostly known for his participation in the golf reality show, “Big Break Ireland,” which is a reality television show where participants compete in skills competitions to test their golf skills. From the show, he learned how to compete with high-level athletes.
“The show kind of sparked a light in me again and got the competitive juices flowing,” Walker said in a press conference.
Walker hit his first golf ball at five years old, and since then he has progressed a long way in his golf career. Starting to play pro sports in 1999, he has gained over 30 victories in various countries around the world.
He earned his experience through playing on the International level in South America, Europe and Africa. Despite his countless new travels and experiences, Walker was still sure to mention winning the NCAA Championship the most exciting event of his Pepperdine experience. He is currently teaching full-time at the Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix, Az.
For his college friend and tournament opponent from Southern California Jason Gore, the PGA TOUR is his first tournament of the year. Gore has played golf since he was fourteen years old. He made his way to Pepperdine by transferring from the University of Arizona.
As a part of the Waves team, Gore took part in the team’s NCAA Division I Championship win in 1997. He progressed to pro sports within that same year.
The Northern Trust Open, with the total purse of $6,500,000 and winning share of $1,188,000, is one of the oldest and most prestigious golf competitions in the country. Australian pro golfer Aaron Baddeley claimed first place last year.
As an organization, the Northern Trust was founded 122 years ago in Chicago, Ill., and “is a leading global financial institution in providing investment management, asset and fund administration, fiduciary and banking solutions for corporations, institutions and affluent individuals worldwide,” according to the official website.