PINEHURST, N.C. (WNCN) – “Right here, grandpa is right here,” said 17-year old-Tyler Strafaci.
Tyler Strafaci and his dad, Frank Jr., easily find the plaque on the wall at Pinehurst that bears the name of the 1938 and ’39 North and South champion.
Frank Strafaci, Sr. won this prestigious event back to back in the late ’30s.
“I know Pinehurst was such a huge part of his life,” said Tyler Strafaci. “It’s great to be a part of it now.”
Now, Tyler Strafaci is taking his shot at putting his name on the wall at Pinehurst. The younger Strafaci never knew his grandfather who passed away a decade before he was born.
Still, Tyler has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to his grandfather, his dad providing vivid memories of one of the game’s greatest amateur players.
“My dad was great,” boasted Frank Strafaci, Jr. “He was incredibly supportive and at the same time wouldn’t really push me and let me find my way.”
Frank Strafaci, Jr. played in more than a dozen North and South tournaments.
But his greatest memories are from his childhood watching his dad play at Pinehurst.
“Coming by train once I remember that,” reflected Strafaci. “That was probably my most vivid memory a child coming was taking the train from south Florida to Southern Pines.”
His father won 21 amateur events but may be best known for his actions at the 1939 Masters.
“He withdrew during the tournament to come back and defend his title which is pretty neat when you think about it,” said Strafaci, Jr.
His dad did indeed defend his title, and now, Tyler Strafaci has his sights set on winning as well.
“My goal is to one day win this tournament and put my name on the locker right underneath his,” said Tyler Strafaci.