July 16, 2012
It was only a year ago that Brandon Pierce was No. 531 in
the Polo Golf Rankings. The 17-year-old from Covington, La., now finds himself
headed to the Wyndham Cup to compete as one of the top ranked juniors in the
After a breakthrough performance at the Rolex Tournament
of Champions, Pierce climbed to No. 40 in the rankings and earned his spot
representing the West at the 2012 Wyndham Cup.
“I worked really hard over the winter, both mentally and
physically, and the effort I put in it has really helped out,” Pierce said. “I
got to Wyndham Cup because I got to play at Rolex. I’ve had some opportunities
that I’ve taken advantage of.”
Spots for the Wyndham Cup were selected based on Polo
Golf Rankings, which reward top finishes in national junior golf events. Going
into the Rolex Tournament of Champions ranked No. 132, Pierce claimed the last
spot on the West Team by tying for third at the prestigious tournament.
“All 40 spots are earned by the kids, there are no
captain’s picks,” said Jason Miller, captain of the West Team. “Brandon was
given the opportunity and he capitalized on his play. It was all in his hands.”
Pierce’s avenue to success began with Brandon’s Birdies,
a fundraising program he founded to raise money for underprivileged children in
the New Orleans community. Through his humanitarian efforts, Pierce was named
the recipient of the 2012 USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award. The award
came with automatic entry into the Rolex Tournament of Champions.
After a 2011 season plagued by injury, Pierce staged a
comeback with two top-10 finishes earlier this year. He followed his T3 finish
at the Rolex Tournament of Champions with a tie for fourth at the Genesis
Shootout presented by the Valero Texas Open.
“After Rolex I went, ‘that was good, but can I backup that
event with another good event?’” Pierce said.
His recent success on the course has garnered attention
from college coaches, and according to his mom Rebecca, his phone has been
ringing off the hook.
“More coaches called which has stirred up the pot,”
Rebecca Pierce said. “But he just wants to go out and play and prove himself in
Amidst his recent success, Pierce has remained humble and
dedicated to his goals of making it to the PGA TOUR through hard work and an
“Brandon is an example of us fulfilling our mission and
it is great to see him being rewarded on the course,” Miller said. “He helped
all these people first, and from his play, he was rewarded with scholarship
opportunities and a spot at Wyndham Cup.”
Pierce will help the
West Team reclaim the Cup, after last year’s matchup saw the East Team take
home its first title since 2004. The 2012 Wyndham Cup will be held at Arnold Palmer’s
Bay Hill Club & Lodge, July 23-26.