Sports Files — June 11, 2015
Sports Files — June 11, 2015

 (female announcer)
 Production funding for  “Sports Files” is made
 possible in part by…  (male narrator)
 Infiniti of Memphis  has moved to
 Germantown Road  just half mile north of
 Wolfchase Galleria  and is proud to support
 W-K-N-O for its quality  broadcasting and
 service to our community.  Quality and service — No
 wonder Infiniti of Memphis  feels at home on WKNO.   My guest today on Sports Files
is pro golfer and Memphis native Clay Myers the second.   ♪ theme music ♪   Former Germantown
High School and Jackson State Star Golfer Clay Myers the
second is starting to make a pretty good name for himself. The twenty-five year old
professional golfer appeared on the most recent season of
the Golf Channel’s Big Break and finished fourth. But may be Clay’s biggest
break is getting a sponsor’s exemption into this
week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic, which got underway
today at TPC Southwind. Clay may be a long shot to get
to the weekend but this type of exposure and recognition
in his PGA Tour debut can only be beneficial. Growing up in Memphis, Clay
found the game of golf through the efforts of the good people
at the MidSouth Junior Golf Association, which would
eventually become the First Tee of Memphis. The First Tee would provide Clay
with an outlet to hone his game, make some incredible contacts
with people such as Pro Golfer Loren Roberts, and teach
him some very important life lessons. Today, the multi-talented
Clay Myers the second Pro Golfer,
musician, song writer, model, caddy, spokesperson and
all around fantastic young man. And he’s next on
Sports Files…. ♪ theme music♪ Clay, great to
have you on the show. Thanks for
having me. Thanks so much
for your time. So this thing has come
full circle for you, once you had come
in here, years ago, with the clinic as a
volunteer you worked here, now you’re playing in the
FedEx St. Jude Classic. What’s this
like for you? It mean, this tournament
definitely has a special place in my heart just from
growing up here in Memphis, going to the
tournaments as a little boy. I remember the
year Nick Price won, I’m sure he
won it that year. That was back in the
90s or early 2000s. And just seeing how
much the course has grown, they’ve changed the greens out,
and they’ve changed the roughs and made it a Par 70 now. So, and just seeing that too,
there’s a lot of history here. What was it like when you were
told probably by Phil Cannon I would assume, the Tournament
Director that you were getting a Sponsor’s Exemption? It was pretty surreal because I
came in to just introduce myself to Phil because a lot of
people had reached out to him, saying good things about me like
Loren Roberts and there was a couple of people on the
committee here and… But he never met me personally
so I came here and I met him and we were talking and he was like,
so just keep your schedule clean on the week and he
kinda winked at me. And I’m like, ok I’m not going
to get too excited yet but I came in the next week to do a
podcast for the tournament and Daryl was leading the podcast
and he started off and he said We’d like to welcome our
newest Sponsor Exemption … Wow. Daryl Smith? Yeah Daryl Smith. Yes. And at that moment, my heart
kinda sank a little bit and I was like Wow this is
actually about to happen.   (Greg) Yeah it wasn’t a dream
 anymore it was reality. Yeah.  (Greg) So let me ask you this,
 how is your game right now?  (Clay)  Uh  it’s
 getting  better.  Hopefully when Thursday
 comes around I’ll have all those  screws tightened and
 I’ll be ready to go. It’s been a process. When I came back home, I really
wanted to work on my game and my swing to get more
consistent low scores. I was playing well but I was
kinda averaging around 70 so I wanted to get to
that 63, 64 range. So I started working on my game,
not knowing that I would get into and get this
sponsor exemption. It’s come a long way since then
and I’m just excited about it. You picked up the
clubs at the age of 8, MidSouth Junior Golf
and then of course,  the First Tee of Memphis.  How important are those
 organizations in developing you  as a Golfer and
 really as a young man?  (Clay)
 Yeah, they helped out a lot.  Especially early on. They just supported me with
opportunities that I wouldn’t had otherwise. MidSouth Junior Golf Association
they actually gave me my first set of golf clubs. And even that there
was an awkward age in between 12 and 13. I was too small for a men’s set
but too big for the boy’s set and they gave me this woman’s
set and still to this day, that was my favorite set
of clubs I’ve ever had.  (Greg)  And  then  the
 First  Tee  of  Memphis… Right, and when
the First Tee came, they brought the
life skills with them. And I would go to workshops
and the University of Memphis. I would go to different
leadership camps through the First Tee. They really instilled the
9 personal core values which I still use today. Loren Roberts, of course,
we’ve had on as a guest. He’s a friend of the show,
very much associated with the First Tee of Memphis. You’ve had a chance, I’m
sure to play with Loren,  to talk to Loren.  What type of life
 lessons has he taught you?  (Clay)
 Loren is a great guy.  And I’ve had the honor to be,
 to actually call him my friend. And we’ve kept in touch
over all these years. Me and Loren played at the
Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach in 2005 and 2006. So that’s where I
first played with him. And up until now, when he comes
home for the summer and I’m here, we’ll link up and we’ll
play together and I just saw him last Monday actually, at a
tournament up in Nashville. He’s given me advice on how
to prepare for this week, and that’s what he’s
done this whole time. He’s always there to give
me advice when I need it. You’re 25, so you said
back in 2005 at Pebble Beach? So Captain Math will tell
me you were 15 years old! What was it like to go
there and play Pebble Beach at the age of 15? That was pretty awesome too. Especially the time Loren was
leading the Charles Schwab cup, so he was hot on tour. He brought out galleries that I
definitely wasn’t ready for at that time. I think that all helped me
leading up to when I was on the Big Break and now. First Tee of Memphis, MidSouth
Junior Golf but specifically First Tee of Memphis because
since there’s other First Tee programs around the country, and
it gives young golfers like you said an opportunity that
may not get that opportunity. This is social economically,
but also minorities as well, they may not play
the game of golf. Do you see an upswing; do you
see more minorities wanting to play the game of golf? It’s a cooler sport now, or do
you see it leveling off since Tiger came on the scene and got
a lot of people really geared up to play the game? I think definitely when
Tiger came on the scene; he definitely sparked an
interest and a lot of diversity in the game, and a lot of
African-American golfers like me. And watching him
play growing up, we all aspired to be like Tiger. And now, being 25, at the age
I’m trying to play on a PGA tour, I’ve noticed it has its
challenges and difficulties like you will with any sport. And but I definitely see,
there’s probably like ten to 15 of us that’s just on the
brink of a breakthrough to get the PGA Tour. I think it’s just a
matter of years for us. There’s a lot more than
just me in this tournament. We’ll talk more about Tiger
Woods in a second but you said a breakthrough but the big break
may have been your breakthrough this past year. The Big Break and the
Palm Beach area of Florida. I’m sure a lot of people got to
know who you are by watching the show. How did you get
on the program? And then talk
about that experience. The experience
was awesome. It started when I moved to
Orlando three years ago. Luckily for me
living in Orlando, that’s where the Golf
Channel studios are.  So  they  would  come  out  to
 random  golf  tournaments  around  the city, professional
 golf tournaments,  and they would hold
 auditions after the tournaments.  And I auditioned once when I
 first moved to Orlando and  didn’t hear anything back.  I think they’re really good at
 finding out the character of a person through an
interview because the golf shot; you only hit about 5 golf shots. But you talk for 30-45 mins… So they want the personality? Yeah I think they
want personality first then they go back and
pull up your golf history and see what you’ve done. Right. They don’t want a golfer who’s
maybe got the great personality, they want the combination. And you have that. What was the experience
like getting on there? You made a great run. You finished fourth
if I’m not mistaken. What was that like? The experience was awesome. They treated us
first class everything. Playing at PGA Nationals,
probably one of the best golf courses I’ve ever played. It was just a fantastic
time and it definitely… they do a good
job with the show. What do you think it’s
done for the career? I know that’s not going to make
the difference in what you do on tour. And whatever tour it may be
and hopefully eventually on the PGA tour. But at least it
gives you the exposure. What kind of
exposure did it give you, how many people, what types
of people did you contact? My life has completely
changed since the show. And I didn’t think anything of
it when I was shooting the show. And we would laugh and joke
around with the guys and the Golf Channel did a really good
job of creating certain dramas  on the show.  I think that definitely helped
 out a lot with my exposure and  just people knowing
 who I am from the show.  Since it’s been over with
 I’ve been called for Pro’s and I  played golf with King Griffey
 Junior like I was saying.  Just a lot of great golfers,
 and now I think that’s what ultimately led me into
being considered for this Sponsor Exemption. The Big Break wasn’t the
reason you met Tiger Woods. The reason why was you
caddied about ten events for Shiyan Woods, who’s
the niece of Tiger Woods. But then you got a chance to
meet Tiger while you were on her bag. What was that experience like? That was awesome. Caddying for her I
learned a lot about golf. At that time, I wasn’t
playing my best golf and I was considering taking a break. I was going to caddy full-time
for her but the Golf Channel called about
mid-way through there. Caddying for her I learned
about course management, I learned the discipline it
takes for people to compete at the highest level of golf. Then meeting Tiger Woods and
just getting to pick his brain for an hour and a
half was awesome too. Those two things I
probably will never forget. ALright, you’ve tried some
of the min-tours since you’ve turned pro. Of course you played college
and played it very very well at Jackson State under the
tutelage of Eddie Peyton. What was that
like, how tough is it, and what’s your next move as far
as tours are concerned as you continue your
professional career? College golf definitely set
me up to play professionally.   I think it provides
you those tournaments, and then there free. Now I have to pay
for tournaments. Little different, huh? Yeah so just getting that
experience in and learning how to win I think
definitely helped me out. Upon graduating college, I don’t
think my first choice was to play professionally. It wasn’t until I went and
qualified for the US 2012 and  out of the 320-something
 participants there,  I was the only
 African American golfer.  And so, just seeing that,
 that motivated me to continue, It made the picture a
lot bigger than me, I kept saying to
myself If not me, then who else? It definitely
started me on my path. It’s been a journey. It’s had its ups and down. I worked numerous
jobs throughout. I’ve done commercials
with Dick Sporting Goods. I’m in the Golf
Galaxy catalog now. You’re modeling?! Yeah I do a little
bit of modeling. It’s been great. It’s all been great. I think it’s all towards … keep pushing me towards my
goal of being a PGA Tour member. You’ve moved from Orlando back
to Memphis for basically the summer. As you said earlier, you’re
going to go back to Florida. As far as the next tour,
you’re going to try and get on? Tell us about that. Well if I can secure the funds,
I’m definitely at a point where depending on how I do
at this tournament, now I would need to
raise funds for that, then… But I’m really looking
forward to others… if not that then, PGA
Tour Latin America, QSchool, which
would be in December. The goal is definitely to
move past the mini-tours. Let me ask you this… You’re a great personality,
you’re very marketable. Can you get sponsors before
you’ve actually done anything as a professional golfer? Oh yeah. I see it happen all the time. As far as them paying
you money, I’m not sure. But companies
will give you stuff. But would they pay
your way into … you talked about
trying to get on the… QSchool? Right. And it costs a lot of money. Right. I don’t know. Maybe that’s the way to go. Yeah. Maybe so. If not you
talked about going down to Latin America. I think that’s also, that’s
another filter into the PGA Tour… it’s an easier way I
think, to get on the PGA Tour. Even though it’s
out the country, the competition is not as
stiff as on the so… Baby Steps? Yes, baby steps. Are you going to be able to
control your emotions and not get the big eyes this
week as you play here with Phil Mickelson and Dustin
Johnson, Billy Horschel, who earlier in the week you
had a practice round with Billy. Are you going to be ok to
keep everything in check? Yeah I think so. I played 9 holes
with Billy Horschel. I did get a little
nervous out there… [laughter] It comes with the
territory right? I did get a little nervous but I
just went into the training room and I was in there with Nick
Rodney and Jonathan Byrd and  Justin Leonard…  Sitting there laughing
 and joking with those guys.  I just think, I see
 them as normal people. But the life of a PGA Tour
player, not too shabby. I got to ask you this. Tube player at
Germantown High School? And a really good one? You could have went to
college on a music scholarship. Instead you ended up
going on a golf scholarship at Jackson State. How good a Tuba Player were you? Were you really going to try
and do something professionally? I was the best Tuba player
in the State of Tennessee. How do they rank
the Tuba Players? By chairs. I was first chair. That was something that I really
wanted to do after college, because I enjoyed playing golf, but I enjoyed
playing music more. I have a lot more friends in
music and we were all going to go to Tennessee. I had dreams of playing
on Broadway in a musical as a Tuba Player.   Maybe you can do both? I’m still considering it. To play the Tuba? If I make it, that’s going
to be my first purchase… a nice Tuba. There you go. That wraps up our interview but
we’re not completely done yet. We like to end the interviews
with something to find a little more about you. It’s called 5 for the road. I just need quick answers… 5 easy questions. Favorite
Professional Sports Team? Memphis Grizzlies.  I knew you were
 going to say that. Favorite Professional Athlete? Tiger Woods.  Ok, good choice.  How about music? What do you like
to listen to? Or who do you like
to listen to? That’s tough. I listen to a lot. I actually make music myself. You can get my song on iTunes.  It’s called The
 Anthem by ClayDough.  (Greg) You’ve been
 writing songs too?  And  playing
 songs?  Man you’re versatile.  Give me somebody
 else, other than you. I listen to a lot of
Christian Rap music, so LaCray, KB, Andy Mineo… Christian Rap? Never heard of that genre. That’s the first
time for this show. Favorite movie of all time? Happy Gilmore. [laughter] Or Water Boy. I’m an Adam Sandler fan. There you go. Why not? We’ll wrap it up with your
favorite Television show of all time? That’s a tough one. Can I say Netflix? [laughter] How about
something specifically? What do you like to watch on TV? Is there a series? Now I don’t want viewers to
take this the wrong way… But I think it’s tradition with
my mom on Sundays we watch HGTV and Lifetime. I enjoy it. I’ve heard there’s some
pretty cool Dick Sporting Good commercials Clay
Myers the second in them. Well Clay it’s been an absolute
pleasure having you on the show. Looking forward to watching
you in your first PGA Tour event here at TPC
Southwind. Thanks so much. That’s Clay Myers the
second, we’ll take a break… Overtime is next. ♪ theme music ♪ If you like driving
fast and enjoy competition, and frankly who doesn’t… well, do I have
the place for you. Autobahn Indoor Speedway on
Shelby View Drive is your chance to experience the thrill of
European Style Indoor Kart Racing. With speeds of up to 50 miles
per hour Autobahn provides a thrill a minute. And believe me, I
found that out first hand. It’s a 40,000 square foot air
conditioned facility containing a Grand Prix style track
surrounded by a high tech barrier system. Fun comes first but safety
is just as important as I discovered after speaking
with General Manager Anthony Dillard…… Well Anthony we are smack
in the middle of this thing. It is absolutely tremendous for
all race-car lovers to come out here and enjoy themselves here
at AutoBahn Indoor Speedway. Tell us about this. Ok, we are electric
Italian go Karts. They are all Electric, no
fumes, fully air-conditioned, indoor-raced; we do
everything from beginners to professional racers. We have special racers
from all around Memphis.  We have soccer moms,
 we have house wives,  we have kids from 8-12 who’ve
 come up and gotten in our karts.  It’s just the best
 way to enjoy racing.  (Greg) I don’t know too many
 people who don’t like getting  into an automobile, a
 go-kart, a speed boat,  and go fast. Absolutely. And that’s what gives them the
opportunity to do that here. The only way… it’s actually your own race
team without the expense. You get a fully
modified go-kart. We’ve PM’ed these
things every day. We keep them
maintained to specs. Every car every one is the same. It’s all about the drivers and
how you handle the equipment. It’s just like owning your own
race team except the expense. You get out and go
home, you’re a racing star.  (Greg) You’ve only been open for
 two months and it’s already  caught on like wildfire.  A lot of people are coming here
 to find out what it’s about.  Where did the concept originate? I know it’s not the only
one around the country. No, we originated
in Jessup, Maryland, outside of Baltimore. Then we found a great place
for a track in Jacksonville, Florida. Then Jacksonville was comparable
to Memphis so they thought it would be a great
thing for Memphis. It is. It’s a wonderful time. We are expanding to
Birmingham, Alabama. We’re going to White Marsh,
Maryland which is on the other side of Baltimore, Maryland. It’s been such a hit up there,
it requires two facilities now. We’re going into Manassas,
Virginia and they’re looking for places all over America. This is a great concept. They take unused warehouse space
and they turn it into family entertainment. It’s amazing what they did.  (Greg) Tell me a little bit
 more about the cars,  the go-karts themselves.  Tell me about the track itself.  How much safety you put
 into this for the driver.  (Andrew)
 Starting  with safety,  there’s  a  one  of  kind
 system  on  these.  It’s actually recently
 been updated on our cars. Our karts have side
impact, front impact, rear impact
protection bumpers on them. They have a 5-point
racing harness in the seat. The race seat is
molded to the racers. We have these one of a kind
German designed barrier systems. They’re held together
with springs that are just unbelievable. They impact and
retrack instantly. We do everything. We take them
through a safety course, a safety briefing. We personally inspect every
driver before they get in the karts.  What is the biggest
 issue with the driver?  What are you most concerned
 about when somebody for the first time steps behind the
wheel and comes out here and goes 40 miles per hour? Their personal safety. That is number one
for every one of us. We never want to
see anybody hurt. If you see anybody when
they hit these walls, or bump or skid out, there’s
employees running from every corner. That’s what
they’re taught to do. We have a race
Marshall, we have a pit crew, and we have a chief mechanic. Even our mechanics come out of
the shop to check on people. Personal safety is our number
one concern and it’s what our number one issue
with any drivers. We want them to go
home having a great time, but more importantly, we
want them to go home safe.  You talked a little
 bit about the staff. That’s pretty incredible
who you’ve compiled here to put this on. That includes a
former race car driver. No he’s a current
race car driver. He’s still racing. Jonathan Foley. He runs Miatas on the
streets, street courses. He is a professional
driver and he owns his own car, his own race team. He’s really amazing with racing. He has put together
so many concepts here. He’s got all the
racers coming in. Very competitive guy. We’ve got electrical
engineers on our staff. We’ve got an aeronautical
engineer with a degree from Purdue. We’ve got a teacher on
staff who’s been teaching for over 12 years. She’s got a Parks
and Recreation Degree, an Education degree. We have people from all walks of
life because that’s the kind of people we want to invite in. We want everybody in here. You don’t have to know how to
drive to drive a race kart. We’ll teach you. We’re putting on clinics this
summer to teach people how to drive. Our marshals are
professionally trained. They can control these
races and safety is number one. It gets me excited
just talking about it. It’s actually
nothing but excitement. There’s no question about it. You get out there and you drive
the go-karts as does the staff, but how fast do
these go-karts go? They are up to 50 miles an hour
for our professional drivers.  They have 4 speeds.  We introduce them to
 the track on speed 1.  We raise their speed one level
 at a time because is important. Our professional drivers
can get the karts upwards of
50 miles an hour. In this confined space.  That’s  pretty
 amazing. The other thing we talked about
before we started taping this interview was a lot of people
that are in the racing industry may be go Race Riverside
or Memphis International… They’ll come over here, rent it
out and get a little racing indoors. Absolutely. It’s all competition. These guys know
nothing but racing. We have stock cars
racers, we have go kart racers, we have pro-models, late
models, we’ve got BMX riders. I have my Junior record holder
rides BMX on the weekends.  He’s a professional BMX
 rider at 9 years old.  And he comes out here and he
 runs these junior karts in the 25 second range. His dad comes out here. It’s amazing to watch
these guys handle the speed. It’s really amazing to watch
professional drivers get out of their cars and come in here and
see their reaction to what we have to offer. They don’t understand
this is a new concept to them, but it looks like
it would be easy. They get out here and it’s
just overwhelming to those guys. They are instant fans. The precautions are taken,
people go through the class course, given all the
safety precautions, and it just seems
like a lot of fun. Seven days a week and I know
again you can be a corporate outing; it could be
a birthday party. Anybody who wants to get
together as a group can rent out the time. Absolutely. It’s 3:30 in the afternoon, we
have Edward Jones Investment here rolling out on the track. They’ve been here for an hour
doing their business meetings, now they’re ready
to run their carts. Anybody can rent it out. We’ve got schools
coming in this week, we got investment groups. We’ve got race car drivers,
we’ve got birthday parties, everybody wants a
part of the speed. Memphis is a racing
town, no question about it. Another place and another
opportunity to go out there and have fun. Anthony
thank you so much. No problem! Thanks for coming out! So did I crash? Yes. But that’s part
of the deal folks. I was ok. It’s a learning process. As for my Producer David George? Yes, he ran faster laps. In fact, his times have
been well-documented. Framed in fact. I’ll get you next time. And that will
wrap it up for now. Next week, I’ll be
joined by Bill Hancock, the Executive Director of
the College Football Playoff. Until then have a great week,
and we’ll see you next time. ♪ theme music ♪ (female announcer) Production
funding for “Sports Files” is made possible in part by.. (male narrator) Infiniti of
Memphis has moved to Germantown Road just half mile north of
Wolfchase Galleria and is proud to support W-K-N-O for its
quality broadcasting and service to our community. Quality and service — No wonder
Infiniti of Memphis feels at home on WKNO. ♪♪♪  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *