Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Golf Pro All-Stars: A Tribute to Bo Van Pelt

Van Pelt preparing to make a shot at the recently concluded
AT & T National Tournamnent

It is interesting to know that a person can be likened to a golf cart cover. But before you give me that weird look, read on and find out how and why…

Bo Van Pelt is pretty plain – and normal. He was born in Richmond, Indiana on 16th day of May in 1975.  His discipline and love for sports evidently came from the Van Pelt family. Bob, Bo’s father, was into football back in the day. In 1967, Bob was given a break when he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles at the NFL following his collegiate career in Indiana.

Currently, Bo lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his wife and children. It was 1998 when he completed a degree in General Business from the Oklahoma State University. In the same year, Bo turned pro after three wins in amateur tournaments. He won the Indiana (Boys) State Junior twice and the Northern Amateur in 1995. Bo reigned at the Indiana tournament in 1991 and in 1993.

Being a Pro

John Heywood once said that a hard beginning maketh a good ending. Though Bo’s golfing career is far from over, it was certainly not an easy beginning. Several trials and struggles plagued the early stages of his career which resulted to the forfeiture of his PGA Tour card.

It was in 1999 that Bo’s career settled on a steady path. He earned a full-time spot in the PGA Tour through a qualifying school in the said year. In a year, Van Pelt had under his belt eight top 10 finishes despite the lack of a win column.

Bo’s sweet championship victory came only in 2009 when he outlasted John Mallinger at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee. He shot a final round 64 at a sudden-death playoff that proved to be fatal for John.

Life Beyond the Fairway

The Van Pelt’s never fail to give back. Bo, together with his family, supports several charities that aim to strengthen communities and spread both recognition and love for golf.

Carrie and Bo are also supporters of Habitat for Humanity since the summer of 2007. In the same year, he started hosting the Tulsa Habitat FORE Humanity Charity Golf Classic where he personally meets and greets players as he hit a tee shot for the tournament. Through the years, this partnership has helped raise more than $175,000 to build homes. Bo hosted the classic again in 2010.   

Bo teamed up with the First Bank of Richmond to give life to the Bo Van Pelt Golf Classic tournament. Proceeds of this event aid the needs of several institutions including the United Way of Whitewater Valley, Highland Lake Golf Course and The First Tee.

Life After the AT&T 2012 Tournament

“Congrats @TigerWoods on the W.” Bo tweeted after the AT & T championships the other last Sunday. “had fun the last 36. See you at the British.”

This stirred many positive reactions and proved that Bo, indeed, had a big heart not only for the game but for the healthy competition that he shares with other pro golfers on the fairways.

Though Bo only placed second at the AT & T National tournament this year, he is certainly first in championing his cause to build lives and strengthening genuine relationships.

Bo Van Pelt is certainly like golf cart covers. He may seem plain on the outside but in reality he brings a positive change to many lives. 

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