At every turn, Howard University’s Gregory Odom Jr. tries to attract other young Black golfers in the D.C. region to what many have historically called the gentleman’s sport.
“I just want to be a role model and show them that they can be here,” Odom told reporters before the Wells Fargo Championship kicked off at TPC Potomac Avenal Farms in Potomac, Maryland, on Thursday.
“They really don’t have to change who they are. With resources and experience and mentorship, they can be in the same situation as I am,” Odom said.
Often, actions speak louder than words, and Odom hopes his inclusion in the championship will lead to more African Americans realizing any dreams they may have in golf.
After another eye-popping performance at the PGA Works Collegiate Championships at the Union League Liberty Hill near Philadelphia, Odom received an exemption to participate in the Wells Fargo event.
One week prior, he led the HU Bison to their first trophy at Argyle Country Club in Silver Spring.
Earlier, he earned an individual title at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and has proven himself a beacon for historically Black colleges and universities.
Odom also represents a long-sought-after goal of both the PGA Tour and the PGA of America: more African American players.
Wells Fargo also cited its commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, when officials provided Odom an exemption to play alongside some of the game’s best.
Exemptions typically are provided to professionals and former champions who didn’t qualify to play in a championship.
He’s scheduled to tee off at 2:11 p.m. Thursday in a group that includes Bo Hoag of Columbus, Ohio, and Michael Gilgic of Ontario, Canada.
Rory McIlroy, the No. 7 ranked player globally, and other top players, including Rickie Fowler and Tony Finau, will also compete.
Officials said tickets remain on sale at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm (10000 Oaklyn Drive). Grounds ticket prices start at $20. Also popular is the $175 Weekly Grounds Pass, which consists of a ticket to each of the five days. Children ages 15 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult.