Todd Brower has yet to miss an international tournament in Sanford.
For the past four years, the 53-year-old has taken time off to roam the golf course at Minnehaha Country Club and follow legends from his youth as they vie for the winner’s purse.
And Brower plans to return each year, now that the tournament’s contract with Minnehaha Country Club has been extended until 2024.
He and his son, Nate, have now become recognizable regulars, especially in their colorful golf pants and shorts, inspired by their favorite player, John Daly. Nate wore New York Yankees golf pants in the opening rounds on Friday while Todd wore a pair covered in skulls, flowers and tropical plants.
Following:A math teacher quit his job to play golf. Now he plays among the legends
It was even the same style of pants Daly wore at last year’s tournament. Todd confessed he bought them on his phone as he walked the course last year “to match Daly”.
“It’s a talking point and it’s comfortable. And it’s easier to strike up a good conversation with the ladies,” Todd joked.
In total, Todd owns over a dozen Loudmouth patterned golf shorts and pants. Nate has six pairs. Both wear them because their purchases support organizations they believe in, including Daly’s Heart of a Lion charity which supports children and veterans.
The outfits drew a lot of attention from spectators, including T. Denny Sanford, who attended the tournament this year, and Daly’s wife. Todd has received Daly’s autograph almost every year and hopes to someday match the golfer’s outfits.
“If he wears the Honor Pleat Pants on Sunday with me and takes a photo with me, I would donate $ 500 to the Heart of a Lion charity,” Todd said.
But regardless of Daly’s decision to enter this tournament, the father and son duo plan to show off the best of their collections.
“They will change tomorrow and the next day and the next day,” Todd said.
Daly finished the first round tied for 31st at minus-2, five strokes behind leaders KJ Choi and Darren Clarke.
“He likes being 10”: meet the 2021 ambassador of the Sanford Children’s Hospital
Cobey Deschepper has been practicing for months after learning he would be selected as Ambassador for Sanford Children’s Hospital 2021 last March, representing the thousands of children receiving medical services at the only children’s hospital in the region.
Deschepper, 10, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015 at the age of 4. He spent three years in chemotherapy and is now in remission.
Although the fourth-grader’s goal is to become a professional football player, he took his role seriously and made time to practice his training at Great Shots and Keuhn Park with his family.
Now that he’s mastered his training enough to crush the ball in front of a watching crowd, he’s also considering playing golf.
“It sounds pretty funny,” he said, adding that his favorite part of the sport was “hitting the ball hard”.
Deschepper was able to join Steve Stricker, Sanford’s first international champion, in a Pro-Am round, even using Stricker’s driver at one point.
And while he enjoyed his two days off, he is also excited and honored to be recognized this year.
“It’s a little surreal,” said his mother Allison Deschepper, “but it’s a blessing to know how great Cobey feels and loves being 10 years old.”
KJ Choi and Darren Clarke are co-leaders
KJ Choi closed eagle-birdie-birdie for a 7-under-63 and shares the first-round lead with Darren Clarke after the first round on Friday.
Choi had a bogeyless ride at Minnehaha Country Club. The 51-year-old South Korean player has won the PGA Tour eight times.
“Good finish,” Choi said. “It’s very comfortable here, everyone is supporting Sanford and the tournament is going well and the golf course is in beautiful and fantastic condition.”
Clarke, the 53-year-old major champion from Northern Ireland, also finished with a birdie on par 4, 18th. He has two wins this season, the TimberTech Championship in November and the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in January.
“I just loved this golf course the first time I came here and really, really enjoyed it.” said Clarke, who shot 62 on the course last year. “Seems to match my eye. There are a few holes where I can open up a bit and dig, like the first one today, straight downwind, so I hit the driver off the tee and right on the edge of the green and lobbed him up there. I just like the look of the golf course. “
Robert Karlsson, Matt Gogel, Rod Pampling and Brandt Jobe have looked back. Mario Tiziani, brother-in-law of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker, was 65 with Retief Goosen, Steven Alker and Mark Hensby.
Stricker, who is set to lead the United States against Europe next week at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, birdied the last two holes for a 67. He won the inaugural event in 2018.
South Dakota player Tom Byrum dominated the squad at 66 with Jim Furyk, Ernie Els, Jerry Kelly and 2020 winner Miguel Angel Jimenez. Fred Couples tied Stricker at 67 and Davis Love III at 69.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report