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Mark Brooks brightens junior's day at Insperity Invitational pro-am

From left: Mark Brooks (L) with Brayden Ingebrigtsen and his father, Mark.

April 30, 2014

By Chris Dornan, Special to

HOUSTON- When Brayden Ingebrigtsen headed to The Woodlands Country Club Tournament Course on Tuesday he was a little more nervous than usual to hit the first tee.

One can forgive him.

Afterall, the 12-year-old was ducking under the ropes at the Insperity Invitational with seven-time PGA TOUR winner, Mark Brooks.

Brooks was one of nine Champions Tour professionals to participate in The Woodlands Development Company Junior Pro-Am that included 36 junior golfers (18 girls and 18 boys).

The talented young players ranging from the ages of seven-to-17 formed nine groups with one Champions Tour professional each for the nine-hole Pro-Am. 

Dressed in his finest fluorescent-coloured Puma golf duds, the day was a dream come true for young Brayden – a talented south paw from up the road in Woodforest, TX.

“The first couple of holes I was pretty nervous, but now I’m just having so much fun. The whole experience has been so awesome and really cool,” said Ingebrigtsen while sporting a 1,000-watt smile alongside the 13th green.

And why wouldn’t he? The Woodforest resident just won his first golf bet against a Tour professional while making birdie on the par 4, 12th hole.

“I hit it to about one foot on 12 and I gave Mark my (left handed) gap wedge. I told him if he could hit it inside me, I’d give him a dollar. Good thing he didn’t because I didn’t have any money with me.”

Fun and games is what this day is all about for the Champions Tour pros while playing with many of the top juniors in the area who earned a pass under the ropes to stroll the Tournament Course fairways based on points gained at competitions in the Southern Texas PGA section. 

“I’m around a lot juniors so to see how great they play doesn’t surprise me,” said Brooks. “Many are working with coaches so I’m very careful to give them too much instruction, but I definitely like to answer any questions they have. For me though, it is important for them to have fun, but also try to learn how to play good golf with all of the proper etiquette.”

Lessons Brayden will take with him for life.

“Mark is very steady out here and he really helped me with my short game and how to play with these hard and fast greens,” said Ingebrigtsen. “But the one thing I’ll remember about playing with him, and being out here, is just how much fun it is!”

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