BMW Charity ProAm Swinney The Fans Favorite 2009: Dabo Swinney

BMW Charity ProAm Swinney the fans favorite

At this time last year, Dabo Swinney wouldn’t have even been on the radar to receive an invite to participate in the BMW Charity
Pro-Am. But during Thursday’s opening round at The Carolina Country Club, Clemson’s head football coach drew the biggest gallery at the Nationwide Tour event, doubling the number of fans following such movie stars as Dennis Quaid and Greg Kinnear. “What a difference a year makes,” Swinney said. “But we are like an hour from Clemson.” Still, Swinney’s bubbly personality and willingness to interact with the crowd made him a favorite. One young boy raced around behind the 18th green gleefully squealing, “I got Dabo’s ball, oh yeah!” On the course, Swinney teamed with former Clemson All-American Matt Hendrix for an 8-under-par 64 (Hendrix finished 3 under on the regular leaderboard). “His putting was good, but he’s got to work on the ball striking,” said Hendrix, who met Swinney for the first time. “I’ve got season (football) tickets and both my parents, wife and grandmother went to Clemson. We’ve all got orange in the blood so this was a real treat.” Dressed in school colors with a purple shirt and orange cap, Swinney had trouble at times off the tee (he whacked two out-of-bounds to the right off the box at No. 10), but also sank some par-saving putts and had a chip-in on the front.
It didn’t take much to persuade Swinney to play (USC head coach Steve Spurrier has played in the past while former Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden declined invitations), but he didn’t realize the magnitude of the tournament.

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