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Greene Starts Every USDGC Right
You can’t begin any USDGC round without Andy Greene.
As the USDGC Official Starter, he has introduced every player prior to their round since the tournament began in 1999 and he’s approaching a milestone of announcing 8,000 names.
Greene predicts he will call that name around 9 a.m. during the last round on Saturday. USDGC officials encourage fans to come out and help celebrate the achievement.
Greene, who is the Innova East VP of Operations, said when they were first organizing the USDGC years ago with a skeleton crew, he volunteered for the starter job, thinking it sounded pretty cool.
14 years later he’s still doing it and with the streak alive you can count on Greene to keep doing it right on time.
Greene takes his announcing job seriously, keeping up to date with players’ US and Open World titles so he can tack those onto the appropriate name.
Greene says he likes being able to interact with all of the players.
“Most of the time everyone is in relatively good spirits because they haven’t started playing yet,” joked Greene.
With players converging upon the Championship from all over the World, sometimes the names get a little tricky to pronounce.
“Some of the European ones, I don’t think English speaking Americans can make some of those sounds,” said Greene, with another smile.
One of Greene’s favorites is to say the name of Finn Jussi Meresmaa. The key to his last name, says Greene is to put an accent on the first syllable.
As the week progresses and the crowds begin to swell, Greene likes to build up his introductions more, asking players on the lead cards if they want any special titles to go with their names.
Spectators have even asked to record Greene announcing their names so that they can replay it during their Sunday Spectator round or at a home course elsewhere.
“I love indulging folks with that because it’s funny,” said Greene.
Out of nearly 8,000 throws off Hole 1’s tee, Greene has only seen two aces: one by Dana Vicich and another by Roger Cansler.