When Tag Ridings nearly won the PGA Tour event in Alabama opposite the Open Championship, Clay Henry, who covered golf for the Tulsa World when I was doing the same for the Tulsa Tribune, called to get Tag’s cell. We both watched Tag grow up and become a star at Memorial and later Arkansas, where Clay is now the long-time publisher of Hawgs Illustrated. Hard to believe Tag is now nearly 43 and has been a pro since 1988. Here is Clay’s piece catching up with Tag.
FAYETTEVILLE — Tag Ridings was probably surprised to get the call, my first his way in about 14 seasons on the PGA Tour.
The last came in 2003 after a second in Las Vegas, his best PGA Tour finish in 20 seasons as a professional. It’s been so long I wasn’t sure that the cell number was correct. The text was answered immediately and the interview was almost immediate. There was even a call to Tag’s dad, a retired club pro from Tulsa. I consider both to be good friends.
I got to know Paul Ridings as the golf writer of the Tulsa World in the 1980s. He coached me on the golf scene in Oklahoma, both during his time at LaFortune Park Golf Course and later as the head pro at South Lakes in Jenks.
I got to know Tag during his junior golf days in the Tulsa area, later in an All-American career at Arkansas, which ended in 1997. Tag was All-American both ways, in the class room and on the course.
There were several interviews during his Arkansas days for Hawgs Illustrated. They were always a highlight – engaging and introspective. I’ll never forget the prediction for one column that came from UA golf coach Bill Woodley, after Tag’s first collegiate victory.
“Tag has it upstairs to win,” Woodley said. “He may not be as consistent or as spectacular as some on our team, but when he gets in position, he doesn’t spit the bit. I don’t think he’s scared to win. I don’t think he will be on the PGA Tour, either.”
I reminded Tag of that prediction Wednesday night as he put to bed preparations for the RBC Canadian Open in Toronto. He laughed, one of several times that my thoughts were thought to be full of humor.
Read the rest of the story online here.