NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Gerry Jones, Jr., 16, was given the once-in-a-lifetime experience of playing the Wells Fargo Pro-Am with the lefty, Phil Mickelson, on Wednesday after his essay was selected as the grand prize winner of Wells Fargo's Succeeding Together contest.
Jones' essay was chosen by a panel of judges from Wells Fargo, The First Tee, and the Wells Fargo Championship tournament office. He represents the First Tee of Hampton Roads, Virginia.
"I've been watching him every since i started watching golf and playing golf," Jones said. "He is a great guy, it is kinda hard to see the players personalities on TV, but when you meet them in person it is so much different and I'm glad to finally be able to do that today."
Mickelson, who has won 42 events on the PGA TOUR including five major championships, and Jones teed off at hole one just after noon.
Beth Pidgeon, a long-time Mickelson fan, said this was the closest she had been to the famous lefty.
"I've loved [Mickelson] since he was an amateur," Pidgeon said. "So I've watched him at the Masters, in person fortunately, and just to see him out here it can't be a more perfect day for golf and to see him."
Jones and the contest's three other prize winners each received a four-day/three-night trip to attend the tournament.