Austin Vick has never traveled north of Tennessee, so playing golf in Michigan will be an entirely new experience.
With the scorching temperatures he's used to, the Greenbrier High School rising senior joked that he might have to get creative when packing for his trip.
"I might need to take a couple pairs of pants," he said.
He'll pack a new pair of golf shoes, too.
In June, Vick outlasted a field of 90 players in a qualifier at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw, Ga., grabbing one of five berths into the 63rd Annual U.S. Junior Amateur. The famed junior tournament starts Monday at Egypt Valley Country Club in Ada, Mich., just outside of Grand Rapids.
Heading into the qualifier, his father, Russell, attempted to give him some extra motivation.
"I was excited about going to the tournament, and my dad, before we left, told me if I qualified, I'd get a new pair of golf shoes," Austin Vick said. "I got a brand-new pair of FootJoys."
He earned the spot -- and the kicks -- by finishing second in the 90-player field.
For the second of two rounds of qualifying, Vick played alongside Sam Straka, of Valdosta, Ga. A red-hot Straka shot 6-under-par 66 to finish 5-under, and in doing so challenged Vick to play his best.
"He was the one who won the qualifier. ... We were kind of going back and forth at the beginning. I would make a long putt, then he would make one."
Vick shot 71-72 to finish at 1-under on a course where he noted that even par is a solid score. He'll be one of six golfers from the state of Georgia in the field of 156 players.
"I haven't heard anything about it," he said of Egypt Valley. "I looked at a few things on the Internet. It looks really nice."
Vick was scheduled to play a practice round today in advance of Monday's first round.
When he realized he had qualified, he didn't offer fist pumps or get too excited on the surface. Vick's mother, Shannon, said outward excitement is not her son's style.
"Just calm and cool," she said of his demeanor.
Russell Vick realizes the kind of opportunity Austin has in being able to play in such a historic tournament.
"I think it's awesome. You know, only a handful of kids in the United States get to play in this tournament," he said. "Just getting there is a big achievement, and especially if you can move on in the tournament.
"It opens a lot of doors."
Vick has not decided where he'll attend college, and he knows college coaches will be scouring the grounds at Egypt Valley.
According to its official Web site, the U.S. Junior Amateur is open to males who have not reached their 18th birthday prior to the close of competition.
It's a tournament with a list of champions that include Johnny Miller, Gary Koch and David Duval, in addition to the only repeat champion, Tiger Woods.
"Tiger Woods won it three times," Austin Vick said. "It's pretty cool to have the privilege to go play with the best of the best."
If he is among the 64 players advancing to match play after the first two rounds of stroke play, Vick will be able to draw upon a recent experience.
He had not played a match play format until this past week, when he participated in the Georgia-South Carolina Junior Challenge Match in Atlanta.
His caddie will be fellow Greenbrier senior Taylor Gove.
"He's pumped up to go," Vick said of Gove. "He's actually never been on a plane, so it's a first for him."
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