Jason Wyatt to compete in PGA/Latin America Tour event in Miami » Area Sports » Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN
CROSSVILLE — Jason Wyatt, former Cumberland County High School golfer, will be playing in the PGA Latin America Tour event at Doral Country Club in Miami, FL. beginning July 30 and running through Aug. 3. "this is also in preparation for Q school in December…an expensive endeaver," said Wyatt in a prepared statement. "Golf has been my passion since I was a young boy. I grew up in the golf capital of Tennessee with the privilege of playing the best courses in the South." Throughout his career he had many local professionals help him with his game, including Kip Henley, who was the head professional at Heatherhurst, who became his mentor. by the time Wyatt was 12, his mom or dad would drop him off after school and early in the mornings in the summer. "Kip would have several buckets of balls waiting on me. I would hit range balls for hours, then chip and putt for several more. at that time, minors were not allowed on the course until after 4 p.m., at which time Kip would play a round with me on a daily basis, grooming what I had practiced. this practice schedule taught me the work ethic involved with the game I loved," added Wyatt. by age 13, he traveled all over the Southern states with his mom and siblings to compete with top golfers of his age in the National Junior Tour. During his career at CCHS, he earned All-District and All-Region honors all four years and placing in the top every year at the state championship. College coaches notched his game. Many offers came his way. After careful consideration, he signed a 100 percent academic scholarship with the University of Memphis, where he lettered all four years and became team captain for two years. he holds the school record for qualifying the most consecutive tournaments…31 in a row. "there were only 12 golfers on the team, but only five were eligible. I challenged myself to, not only be the top five, but to be seeded first or second," according to Wyatt. After graduating from Memphis, he married his high school sweetheart and they had their first child. "Golf had to take a back seat. looking back, this was a good decision. I would not have been successful at that time on tour. I was young, distracted by many things and slightly burned out. I returned to Knoxville and worked with my father in a family business for 10 years, playing recreationally," he said. Early in 2011, he found the passion for the game again. "I began to practice seriously. Af first struggling to shoot in the 70s, a humbling experience, I found at this time my short game was still there. this inspired me to work harder to improve the long game. by the fall 2011, I was shooting under par with my weekend game, I focused on my form. I realized I had become more appreciating and understanding the game. I began to consider playing seriously again. With a family and many responsibilities, I knew it would take a tremendous amount of hard work and support," he continued. this January, Wyatt received a call from Garrett Willis and Robert Dameron, asking if he wanted to caddy on the PGA Tour. Wyatt knew Willis from his high school days and playing with him at Fox Den. Dameron was a 12-year veteran on the PGA Tour. he traveled with this group to Mexico, Puerto Rico and Florida for a couple of months and played with them on their days off. "I could match their game and beat them on many occasions," added Wyatt Wyatt's realization of a dream unfolded on the 11th tee at Lake Nona in Orlando, FL. "I was playing with Lee Janzen, a two-time U.S. Open champion) and Brian Gay (Kip Henley has caddied for him). Mr. Janzen looked me in the eye and said ,'what tour are you playing?' I am just a caddy. he told me I had the game to play with anybody on tour, and it was a shame I was only a caddy. As I finished that round, I knew in my heart it was time to get serious about the game I loved and try to make a living doing so," he concluded.