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Where are they now? Bryan Kendrick

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Former Lipscomb golfer Bryan Kendrick and his son Bryce teamed to win the National Championship in the Gross Division of the Father & Son Team Classic earlier this summer in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Their next stop is the international tournament in Spain. In addition to working with his son on the golf course Bryan is also watching the University of Tennessee football program with interest since his youngest son, Brett, is a freshman offensive lineman. Bryan is also a major supporter for the Lipscomb golf program. Bryan, a college teammate of Lipscomb men's golf coach Will Brewer, spent some time talking with lipscombsports.com for this edition of "Where Are They Now?"

What sport did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?

"I played golf at Lipscomb from 1974 to '78. I was one year behind Will Brewer. I played for Dr. Ralph Samples."

How did you and Bryce get involved in the Father & Son Tournament?

"This was the second time we have played in the tournament. It is known as the biggest Father & Son Tournament in the world. There were approximately 450 teams from 46 states and seven foreign countries.

"We played in it four years ago. Bryce didn't start playing golf until he was a freshman in high school. You are divided up by handicap. We won our division then. We are fortunate enough to have played in it twice and won our division both times."

Are your approaches to the game different or similar?

"Bryce has a good demeanor. He is not one who gets made and throws his clubs down. We do have similar demeanors.

"I have been around long enough to know that you have to hang in there. Golf is a fickle game. Bryce struggles a little bit more with that, but in the last year he has been better. The approach is never give up. There is a lot about life that can be learned from playing golf."

What is it like to play golf in tournaments with your son?

"The interesting thing is that everybody thought that because I loved to play golf I would push my boys to play golf, but I didn't. I coached baseball and basketball for 19 years. I started the high school golf team that Bryce played on for his first three years.

"Bryce didn't start playing golf until he was 14 years old. He had only been playing golf for a year when we played in the Father & Son Tournament the first time. On the last day we were ahead by one shot in our division on the last day. We had played 12 holes in the scramble that day and were only three-under. Bryce was pretty discouraged.

"They had given us breakfast that morning and there was a raspberry Danish left over. I told Bryce I was going to eat the Danish and we were going to start making birdies. We birdied the next five holes and won by a shot.

"The second day of this year's tournament we were down by five shots. We were in eighth place. Bryce disappeared and came back with Danish he had bought. He said, `here Dad, eat this Danish'. We both ate one and we won by one shot the next day. I thought it was pretty cool that he had remembered that from four years before."

What happened in the tournament this summer?

"It is a three-day tournament. We were playing in the highest division this time. There are three different formats - Scottish Low Ball, Low Ball and a Scramble.

"We were behind by five shots the first day at King's North which is Arnold Palmer's course. The second day we played at Long Bay, a Jack Nicklaus course. The third day we played at the Moorland, one of the three courses at a complex called the Legends Resort. We were pretty fortunate to win it all.

"The tournament in Spain is in October. It is billed as the World's Father & Son Tournament. It is by invitation only. We are going over as the United States team. It will be fun."

What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?

"I have a few fond memories. One was going over and playing in Scotland in a tournament at St. Andrews and Turnberry in 1977. When Will Brewer won the NAIA National Championship it was a big time for us.

"I won the Tennessee Intercollegiate, my one tournament win at the college level, in 1977 at Sewanee, Tenn. I beat Will Brewer to win that tournament. I had to make a two-foot putt on the last hole to win it."

Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?

"Will Brewer. He helped me a lot in a lot of things.

"Will had such a great short game. He is awesome. He is the best I have ever seen inside 100 yards of a hole. That is what made him such a great player. It was a lot of fun to play with somebody like that."

What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?

"I feel like all I did there was play intramural sports and golf."

What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?

"It was the whole Christian environment there. You don't have to drink and run around to have fun. There are a lot of fun things you can do and still keep hold of your Christian faith and your morals. I think four years at Lipscomb taught me that.

"I tell my boys all the time the best four years of your life can be when you are in college. I had strong friends like Will and Mike Bagley and Coach Samples. They are good, strong Christian guys. They are friendships I have built that have lasted for a lifetime."

Who was your favorite professor? Why?

"Charles Frasier. I have a degree in accounting. I always liked Mr. Frasier. I liked Dr. Axel Swang too.

"I hadn't seen Charles Frasier in over 20 years and I walked in his office one day. He knew me immediately. He was a lot of fun. He made learning accounting fun if you can believe that."

Where do you live now?

"We live in Knoxville."

Who is your employer? What is your occupation?

"I am the director of accounting services at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge."

Tell us about your family.

"Bryce plays golf at Tennessee Tech. He holds the high school record in the state of Tennessee for 3-point shooting in high school. My baby, Brett, is 6-foot-6 and weighs 307.

"My oldest son is Brandon. He served six years as a reactor operator on an aircraft carrier and served two tours of duty in the Persian Gulf.  Now he is a reactor operator at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He and his wife, Dylan, have a 2-year-old son, Connor. He is named Connor Bryan. They named him after me.

"My wife's name is Beth."

My email is bryankendrick@comcast.net.