WOOSTER, Ohio — In 1985, Scott Nye and Brendan Walsh led The College of Wooster to a North Coast Athletic Conference championship and a Top-10 finish at the NCAA Division III Tournament — just 12 shots behind national champion Cal State Stanislaus. This summer, they will host two of golf’s most prestigious events at two of America’s most storied courses where they serve as club pros. Nye will host the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia, and Walsh will host the U.S. Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
“It’s really interesting that two former players from a small college in Ohio are hosting these two major events in the same year,” says Nye. “What are the chances?”
Slim, maybe, but not at all unexpected. Nye, a sociology major while at Wooster, and Walsh, a psychology major, were not only standout players who led the Scots to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (1982-1985), but they were also passionate about the game of golf, and they shared a desire to make it their life’s work.
The two were mentored by Scott’s father, Bob, who coached golf at Wooster from 1967 to 1996. “He really introduced us to the profession,” remembers Walsh, who, grew up just minutes from Merion where Scott has been for the past 13 years. “We started working for Coach Nye on campus at L.C. Boles (golf course). We are very fortunate to have had him as a mentor.”
Scott, who was the medalist at the 1985 NCAC Championship, also recognized the role of Gary Welshhans, a former Scot golf standout and the head professional at Wooster Country Club for more than 30 years. “I worked for him for five summers while going through college,” he said. “He deserves a ton of credit for mentoring me in the business.”
As Nye and Walsh climbed golf’s professional ladder, they remained in close contact, and they continue to hold one another in high esteem. “Brendan is one of the best in the country,” says Nye. “He’s a great person, who is especially good at selecting and training talented young professionals.”
Walsh, who is in his 15th year at The Country Club, expressed similar sentiments, saying, “Scott and his family always welcomed me into their home. We were very competitive with one another, but we were always best of friends.”
This summer, the two will be in the national spotlight, first in June when the world’s top players vie for the U.S. Open Championship at Merion, and again in August when more than 300 of the world’s most promising young players gather for the U.S. Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline. Both are accustomed to hosting major tournaments, but this is the first time they will host in the same year.
Nye and Walsh will have a range of responsibilities during the months leading up to the two tournaments, including logistics and coordination with the USGA, (United States Golf Association), but the primary focus will be on merchandising and serving as ambassadors for their respective clubs. “It’s a people business,” says Walsh. “Our goal is to make the experience enjoyable for everyone.”
After the tournaments are over, Nye and Walsh will have more time to focus on what might be their most important mission — mentoring young people who aspire to enter the world of professional golf, just as they were mentored by people like Gary Welshhans and Bob Nye.
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