Tennis pro Mardy Fish makes TOUR debut at 3M Open

Fish has proven he can succeed in a competitive golf setting – he won the 2020 American Century Championship, a celebrity golf tournament that is nationally televised. He knows that a PGA TOUR event is a new stage, though, with new challenges.

He looks forward to that challenge.

“Steph (Curry) and I are real close, and so he was texting me out here,” Fish said on Tuesday. “He just said, look, do what you do, do you. He’s a really good golfer. We just sort of root for each other in these scenarios as well.

“I certainly don’t expect to compete to win the tournament necessarily, but making the cut is something that I’m eyeing big-time. I’ve worked really hard during the last couple of months to get myself into this type of golf shape, long irons into par-4s and long holes and stuff like that. I’ve played golf my whole life, ever since I could stand, and so you’re just hitting a little white ball around.

“Like how do you enjoy it and not play well, or how do you enjoy it and play great? It’s difficult to kind of compartmentalize like that. I hope you do. I know I do leading up to it, for sure, but once the tournament starts, you’ll kind of jump back into that mode and think that you’re as good as these guys out here, and I’m sure that’s what I ‘ll do.”

Fish has deep roots in Minnesota – he spent the first five years of his life in the Minneapolis area, and his dad is an alum of the nearby University of Minnesota. He’s a Minnesota sports fan – Vikings, Twins and Timberwolves. He threw the ceremonial first pitch at a Twins game last month, describing it as a bucket-list activity. He has cultivated friendships with Vikings players like Kyle Rudolph and Adam Thielen.

“They’re all Minnesota nice,” laughed Fish.

Fish played competitive tennis, golf and baseball throughout his childhood. He stopped playing golf tournaments at age 14 as he turned his attention to tennis, but he never lost the bug.

He enjoyed a Tuesday practice round at TPC Twin Cities with Rickie Fowler and Camilo Villegas, soaking in how the multi-time TOUR winners approach their preparations for a tournament. He played Wednesday’s pro-am alongside country singer-songwriter Jake Owen, who has also competed at the Korn Ferry Tour level.

The stage now clears for Fish. He tees off at 9:02 am CT Thursday, alongside Chase Seiffert and Seth Reeves.

Two rounds are guaranteed, with the objective of earning a tee time on the weekend.

“Excitement,” Fish said. “Humbleness. It’s special. It really is.”

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