SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Watching Reed Lotter warm-up, you’d never think this was his first-ever professional golf event.
The 16-year-old has a huge smile on his face, joking around with the professionals in town for the Club Car Championship.
“This is obviously bigger than anything I’ve ever played in,” Lotter admits. “But it’s still one shot at a time, and we are going to take it one hole at a time. At the end of the day, we’ll add them up and see what it is.”
Lotter, a Savannah Country Day Golf star, will make history Thursday when he tees off as the youngest to ever play in this Korn Ferry Tour event.
“It’s such a cool opportunity, and that’s something I’m cherishing every day,” Lotter adds. “I’m just as good in terms of ball-striking, putting and chipping as these guys. It’s just a mental game.”
The rising junior earned a sponsor’s exemption and the opportunity to perform in front of a home crowd at his home course
“It’s kind of like a ‘Tiger’ effect,” Lotter says. “You can use it to benefit yourself, and it can help you when you are in a low moment to get out of it.”
Lotter may have the biggest fan club out there this week, but he says he doesn’t feel any pressure. In fact, his high school coach thinks it could help his mental game.
“That’s what it takes to be a golfer at that level,” SCDS head golf coach A.J. Goldman says. “You want to have people watching, and you want to be in that moment. It’s like when Michael Jordan says ‘give me the ball’ — [Reed] wants it. He wants the ball.”
Described by those who know him as ‘mature beyond his years,’ Lotter has made it his mission to honor the United States military every time he plays a round. Every ball in his camouflage golf bag has the name of a fallen soldier and their unit number.
“Our men and women put their lives on the battlefield and it’s something that should be praised for every day.”
Lotter is set to tee off on hole 10 at 2:30 p.m. with Trey Valentine and Sam Saunders.