NORMAN — Rick Parish has been a part of the 39th annual OklahomaTickets.com Westwood Invitational for more than 20 years. But Friday marked a first for Parish at the historic tournament.
Parish was named the course’s head pro this year after the departure of David Lisle. That meant a quick change of pace for Parish, who had been an assistant pro for years and a mainstay at the tournament. But whereas before that meant playing in the event as well as working the scoreboard, it now ment much more: from promoting and building the tournament, to coordinating with the crew to making sure everything was set to handling any issues that arose on the first day of the 54-hole tournament.
And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m enjoying it,” he said. “I’ve played in this in the past but this year I haven’t had a minute. And that’s not a bad thing.”
One thing that has made Parish’s job easier has been the work of the staff around him, from the grounds crew to the website staff to the staff working the grill, Parish said things have been running smoothly and with pride.
“It’s a heartfelt thing for me, seeing the great work these guys have done and the support we have,” he said. “I took a ride around the course yesterday and every corner we turned there was a beautiful view. Striped fairways; the rough cut standing out; the greens looking good. Ian Anderson did our website this year and we have tee times and scores up on there. [Grill owner] Deryck Courange and his staff have done a great job getting the food set up and drinks out to the players on the course.
“It takes so much manpower to make this tournament look good.”