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 country.
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. Ive had some opportunities that Ive 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 captains 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.
Pierces avenue to success began with Brandons 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 more tournaments.
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 unyielding attitude.
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 years matchup saw the East Team take home its first title since 2004. The 2012 Wyndham Cup will be held at Arnold Palmers Bay Hill Club & Lodge, July 23-26.