Club pro: 'Hazeltine shined' during Ryder Cup
Chandler Withington's business card says head golf professional at Hazeltine National Golf Course in Chaska.
But for years, it's been more than that. As the local pro for the host course of the 2016 Ryder Cup, for at least two years, Withington has been part of the larger team that supports the official members of Team USA. He analyzed player data and helped forge strategy for how to set up Hazeltine in ways most advantageous to the American players.
On Sunday, that ended. With victory.
"Hazeltine shined," said Withington. "I'm proud of the club. I'm proud of the state."
With the Ryder Cup victory assured, his 5-year-old daughter Peyton atop his shoulders and wife Maureen at his side, carrying their 8-month-old Bryn, Withington strolled around outside of the clubhouse, greeting occasional spectators who recognized him and thanked him.
"The players deserve all the credit," he told them.
But below the surface, there was more.
"You go through this whole time preparing -- " he stopped, chocking back tears. "It's hard to come up with the words. It's like (Captain) Davis (Love III) said: It all comes out all of a sudden. The players deserve all the credit."
As far as Hazeltine's future, Withington said it's bright.
"We just passed the greatest, hosting an event like this," he said. "We hope there will be more."
He said the club, which was founded with the explicit goal of attracting major golf events, likely won't seek a regular event on the PGA Tour, as some have speculated.
"That's not our mission," he said. "This kind of thing is."
This article was written by Dave Orrick from St. Paul Pioneer Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.