It was conducted the evening before the first round of the 2014 RBC Gwinnett Championship on the Champions Tour, Josh and I have become friends over the past few months as we are working together to conduct the Open Doors for the Open in Pinehurst North Carolina in June during the US Open; both Men's and Women's for 2014. Josh has been instrumental in assisting in some introductions as well as coordination and participation in getting the outreach ministry put together.
It was a marvelous evening as Dave spoke about the history of the Tour when these gentlemen were playing at their peak, about the stories of faith and successes as well as some not so many successes..... However, throughout the evening there was an atmosphere of faith and hope while expressing deep comradery and fellowship in faith.
Much of the talk was about golf history and their part in it. Specifically, their experiences throughout the years in the Ryder Cup in which both Larry and Tom had incredible records of wins and critical performances in those crucial world golf events. Of course they have had other successes, as well, such as the US Open, which Larry Nelson won in 1983 and twice won the PGA Championship in 1981 and 1987. Tom Lehman, who won the British Open Championship, has a stellar record in the Ryder Cup and served as Captain, but, also was Player of the Year on three Tours; Hogan, PGA and Champions Tour,. Well, Tom Randall spoke of a fourth, the LPGA Tour, but I have not been able to find that reference. So, it was just a wonderful evening as they talked about their friendship and fellowship.
The second half of the evening highlighted the story of the life of Tom Randall, the chaplain on the Champions Tour. Tom has been the chaplain on the tour for some 15 plus years and the stories that were told by Tom, his pastor, Larry Nelson and Tom Lehman about God's work in bringing Tom to the Champions Tour. Tom suffered many difficulties over his life and most recently was released from a Philipino prison after a harrowing 22 days where God was magnified through faithfulness and the prayers of His people. It is an amazing story, a story of faith, and a story of Hope. A story similar to that of Paul the Apostle who, of course, was in jail and ministering from prison to his faithful followers.
Tom had a very similar story and it was heartwarming and faith-building to hear as these men spoke about God's providence, and their lives on golf's biggest stage; the PGA Tour, The Ryder Cup and the Champions Tour.
It was a pleasure to participate in this evening and, I pray, that you will have the opportunity to experience the stories of these men, and God's work in the world of golf.
Thank you for listening or reading this story.