Sunday, January 31, 2010

What's in a Name?

By Torrey Winchester (SMBA '11)

This weekend provided a good portion of SMBA VI an exciting opportunity to be a part of a PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines in La Jolla: the Farmers Insurance Open. If you haven't been following golf, allow me to catch you up on news that doesn't involve Tiger Woods. Buick withdrew their sponsorship from a tour favorite event in light of recent economic conditions. Hoping to continue without a title sponsor, the event became the San Diego Open. The PGA caught a break when Farmers Insurance offered to take over title sponsorship just nine days before the first tee.

Finally equipped with a sponsor and an official name, the tournament teed off on January 28th. As I mentioned before, SMBA students were offered a special opportunity to volunteer at this event. Waiting lists to work at major PGA Tour events can often be quite long, so we were lucky to have such an opportunity--one of many we'll be on the receiving end of during 2010. Our positions as volunteers were with another major tournament sponsor: the Century Club of San Diego.

We were stationed at various locations from Torrey Pines Main Entrance to Qualcomm Stadium to Del Mar Show Park. At these locations, we were the first line of information for the tournament attendees and we were charged with encouraging guests to upgrade their tickets and spend some time at teh Century Club's lounge on the 15th Green. It wasn't a glamorous job (some people weren't even near the course), but it takes all kinds to make major events like this go 'round. So, we played our part and we were rewarded with weeklong passes to the event to use when we weren't working. Cha-ching!

It was especially exciting treat for me to finally see the storied Torrey Pines' golf course. My parents actually used this course to come up with the spelling for my name. Afraid that I'd rebel by choosing to go by "Vicky" if they named me Victoria, they looked to sidestep the problem and simply name me Torrey. Unaware of how one would spell that name, my dad offered T-O-R-R-E-Y having seen the course at various PGA events.

I loved walking around the course and seeing signs with MY NAME on them. Growing up far, far away from here (Tulsa, OK), no one ever correctly spelled my name. So, I considered this weekend my welcome to San Diego, a place where people would know how to spell my name.

1 comment:

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