Inspiring Athletes

Fort Worth, TX — Yesterday’s hot and windy outing at the Colonial Country Club yielded some short, but substantial encounters with the PGA’s finest including interviews with Mark Wilson, Kevin Streelman and Rickie Fowler as the players rubbed shoulders with amateur golfers during the Crowne Plaza Pro-Am.

For today’s Inspiring Athletes, I’ll share what Mark Wilson had to say. Wilson is having a huge season. Before 2011, he had two PGA Tour victories–a number he’s doubled less than halfway through this season. His big numbers have landed him at #3 on the FedEx Cup standings (heading into the Crowne Plaza Invitational), but his big heart and even bigger desire to live for God is what really makes this 36-year old golfer stand out.

Bonham: How important is it for the golfers to have this chance (during a Pro-Am tournament) to interact with the fans throughout the day?

Wilson: It’s unique to professional sports. In professional golf on the day before the tournament starts, amateurs get to come along and see how the course plays and play with us. You can’t do that in football or basketball. A lot of people would get hurt. So we take advantage of it and I think the amateurs see a lot of value in it.

Bonham: Talk about FCA Gameday and why it’s something that you participant in at various tournaments.

Wilson: Kevin Streelman came up with that idea a couple years ago. We usually play a practice round anyway and there are a lot of demands on our time.  So he came up with the idea where kids could walk with us during the practice round for nine holes. We’ve had as many as 60 kids at one time. I did it in L.A., this year and there was 30 kids. I think they really enjoy that. We try to interact with them as much as we can and that way we can witness to them.

Bonham: How important is it for you to use your platform to share who you are and what you believe?

Wilson: It’s what I try to remind myself of every day. I’m always trying to keep God’s agenda in mind. Some days it’s easier to do that than others, but even when we fall and fail in this game, we have to remember that people are watching. How we carry ourselves in the tough times might be the reason why someone wonders what’s going on in our lives. It might make them want to investigate it. Hopefully they’ll see that the peace comes from Jesus. That’s why I’m playing golf. That’s why God gave me the talent. That’s why I’m out here.

To learn more about Mark Wilson, check out his website here.

Tomorrow I’ll post a Q&A with PGA young gun Rickie Fowler who talked to me about being a role model and the importance of having accountability with fellow Christians on tour.

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