Par for the course
morgan countian andrew phillips continues stellar golf career at uwg
story by nick nunn
photos contributed and from archives
A few weeks ago, Morgan County native Andrew Phillips competed in his first collegiate tournament at the Timberline Golf Club in Calera, Ala.
Competing for the University of West Georgia, Phillips placed third overall in the standings by earning a par in both rounds of the tournament. As a result of his placement, he also made the All-Tournament team.
But none of this is a surprise to anyone in the know about Andrew’s achievements.
Andrew Phillips has been swinging a golf club virtually since he has been able to walk, and his father, Terry Phillips, is a PGA Golf Professional and golf instructor, so Andrew’s golf pedigree was well established by the time he was six.
According to Terry Phillips, “Andrew won an average 20 tournaments a year from age 6 to 12.”
Andrew’s successes on the course continued into his teens, and his list of accomplishments now includes competing at the collegiate level.
But it all began when he was less than two-years-old.
“Andrew started swinging a plastic club when he was only about 18-months-old,” boasted Terry Phillips.
“I recognized his gift very early and started to really teach him in simple terms at around age four.”
The next year, Andrew went to the quaifications for the U.S. Kids World Championship, but didn’t qualify because of difficulties dealing with a deep bunker on the last hole.
Never accepting his own shortcomings, Andrew worked on bunker shots for the next year.
“Andrew couldn’t stand having a weakness in golf or school. To this day he is one of the best bunder players around,” said his father.
The next year, Andrew qualified for the U.S. Kids World Championship, and has every year since then.
Andrew continuted to compete throughout high school, while being coached by his father, Terry.
Although Andrew and Terry sometimes argue about the best way to go about correcting imperfections in his swing, Andrew openly acknowledges his debt to his father’s advice and expertise.
“My dad has played a very important role in my life,” said Andrew. “He has taught me everything I know about golf and, most importantly, about life. I would not be where I am today without the love and support from him and my family.”
“My golf game would be nothing without my dad. My dad has stayed by my side my entire life and we have always strived to get better.”
Now that Andrew is off to college at the University of West Georgia, he has been able to show off his talents to yet another audience.
Playing on a team is a new experience for Andrew, but it is one that he has enjoyed so far.
“This experience was different than others because I am not ony playing for myself but I am playing for my temmates. It is a team effort for every tournament that we play in.”
“…you want to make your team proud.”
While adjusting to the stresses and joys of playing with a team, Andrew is also having to adjust to college life.
“College life for me has been great,” said Andrew. “I enjoy all of the activities they have available. It is impossible to become bored, there is always something to do.”
Furthermore, Andrew is gracious for the opportunity to play at West Georgia.
“The University of West Georgia is a great school and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to get an education here and to participate on the golf team.”
The head coach for Men and Women’s Golf at the University of West Georgia, Barry Harwell, is happy to have Andrew competing on his team for the school.
“Andrew is a talented kid, and we are glad to have him on the squad,” said Harwell.
“He played well in his first event for us at the Full Moon Montavello International.”
In the Full Moon Barbecue Invitational at Montavello, Andrew shot a par, 71 strokes, both days of the tournament, placing third out of the 35 golfers competing in the tournament.
As far as Andrew’s future is concerned, Terry Phillips has no doubts of Andrew’s future successes.
“Andrew will play professional golf on some tour, hopefully the PGA Tour but, if not, somewhere. That is my opinion as a very experienced PGA of America golf teacher and not a biased father. He is driven and talented.”
In addition to Andrew Phillips, another Morgan County native, Nicolette Boissonneau is currently a sophomore at the University of West Georgia and competes on the Women’s Golf team. Earlier this year, she tied for third place at the UWA Invitational, shooting her lowest score of the year, a 79 in each round. She finished tied for 23rd place at the recent Montavello tournament.
Printed in the October 18, 2012 edition