PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Lake City's Blayne Barber grew up 74 miles from the stadium course at TPC Sawgrass. Even though he has never played a PGA tournament here, he considers it a second home.
"I grew up coming to The Players every year watching these guys, falling in love with golf, learning the game by observing. This place gave me my introduction to the game I love," said Barber. "This tournament means a lot to us and being my first one, it's special to be on the other side."
The "us" Barber referred to includes his whole family, some two dozen or so who plan on watching him this week, but mainly his mother, Terry. She has been an employee and volunteer here for "more years than I can count." However, this week she is only volunteering part time.
"I love this tournament and I love giving back, but I told them I can only work Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday because I'm watching golf Thursday through Sunday," said Terry Barber.
Blayne was quick to add that he hopes to make the cut so he can play on the weekend, but Terry was even quicker when asked about a potential victory for her son on Mother's Day Sunday.
"I don't want him to feel pressure. I know it's going to come, I know he's going to win at some point. If he wins it this week that's great, if he doesn't, that's fine too," said Terry Barber.
"But it would be a great Mother's Day present," added Blayne Barber.
Both Terry and Blayne are involved in the PGA Tour charity challenge this year. The tour is giving away $10,000 to the charity with the most votes on tourchallenge.com. To vote, go to the website and select Players Championship then vote for "Team Barbershop" to support the First Tee of North Florida.