The Edmond Sun
Tom Lehman just won his eighth Champions Tour tournament June 22 at the Encompass Championship in Glenview, Ill.
But the successful golfer who was in Edmond today for a practice round for the 2014 U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National considers a spiritual life more significant than his status as a professional golfer.
“Do I think that God made me a professional golfer to win tournaments and trophies? No,” Lehman said.
“Do I feel He made me a professional golfer ultimately for His greater purpose? Absolutely.
“Ultimately, it hinges on the big picture. No matter where you are you have an opportunity to be an influence for the greater good.”
Lehman’s devotional walk did not hit him during his professional career. It happened far earlier than that.
“When I was 15, I became a Christian,” he said. “I opened the Bible and read it from cover to cover.
“I think about it (his faith) as a blooming flower. You need to bloom wherever God planted you — give your all you’ve got today.”
Today, Lehman walked the front 9 before leaving the course for lunch since the Oak Tree National clubhouse was closed due to the U.S. Senior Open that tees off July 10-13. Practice rounds will run July 7-9 and that is precisely why Lehman practiced today, since 156 golfers will converge on the course next week.
“I’ve never played it,” he said. “It is the first time I’ve seen it.
“Boy, you have to drive it straight and have to putt it well. Whatever the event, I’ve heard the stories of how tough it is.”
When the 1988 PGA Championship was played at Oak Tree National, Lehman had not yet won a PGA TOUR event. His initial win was in 1994 in the Memorial Tournament.
When the 2006 Senior PGA Championship was played at Oak Tree National, he wasn’t old enough to compete.
But in the grand scheme of things, Lehman looks at being a professional golfer as being an example and an encourager where he is planted.
“You’re supposed to be a light on a hill,” he said, referring to Matthew 5:14-16. “A light you don’t cover up.”
TICKETS for the 2014 U.S. Senior Open Championship are still available at www.2014ussenioropen.com or at any Buy For Less or Uptown Grocery locations. Weekly tickets are $125 (good Thursday through Sunday with parking). Trophy Club tickets are $225. Daily tickets go for $40 for championship rounds and $20 for practice rounds. Kids 17 and under are admitted free of charge. Volunteer opportunities are still available.