Freeze takes day off for good cause
MEMPHIS — A break with a special purpose was how Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze characterized his day playing golf in the Window World Pro-Am at TPC Southwind Wednesday.
For those that may not know it, Freeze loves the sport, even if every shot isn’t where he wants it to go. He has been known to play through rain storms and high winds and he’s not as bothered by lightning as other golfers are, according to a source.
Freeze doesn’t have much time to play — he said most of May and for a month from mid June to July — but he has yet to miss the Pro-Am since coming back to Ole Miss because the event helps support St. Jude’s Children Hospital.
“This is my third year to do. It’s a great event, it was a lot of fun. We got to spend some time with St. Jude kids and that’s really what it’s all about,” said Freeze, who was mobbed by fans seeking autographs over and over again on the course. “This is our camp week but I take this day off every year to come and do this because I know our presence here benefits the kids of St. Jude.”
Freeze was a member of a star-studded group that included pro David Duval and NASCAR drivers, Denny Hamlin and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Mike Glenn, an executive with FedEx who helped hire Freeze, was also part of the group. Stenhouse is a native of Olive Branch and currently dating NASCAR’s most attractive driver, Danica Patrick, who walked the entire course, but not before changing out of high heels after the first four holes and opting for tennis shoes.
“I had a blast with them. They were super kind, her and Denny and Stenhouse and David. Of course Mike Glenn is a good friend anyway. Ricky is an Ole Miss guy, his family, and his sister was with us today and she is a big Ole Miss girl, too. We’re going to transform Danica into being an Ole Miss fan as well,” said Freeze, who acknowledged Patrick held an Ole Miss script water bottle early in the day. “We’re going to have some more Ole Miss gear on her soon. Ricky and I are a lot alike and we had some good, funny one-liners out there. It’s nice to come here and play and I enjoy golf and to play golf, in this arena, with these people, was very enjoyable.”
Stenhouse had good things to say about Freeze, who was routinely carrying on a conversation with the Nationwide Tour driver.
“He’s a great guy and we did have a really good time playing with each other and everyone else today,” Stenhouse said.
Hamlin added that he was glad the officials at the tournament decided on the pairings.
“I love that they got us all together. David was a great pro, he really helped us out a bunch and then Mike from FedEx helped put it all together,” Hamlin said. “I would be calling up Ricky and Danica anyway on a day like this to go play some golf.”
A lot to watch
When Freeze isn’t playing golf, or hosting prospects at football camp, he said he watches the sport on TV and that he would be watching this weekend’s final rounds of the St. Jude Classic.
“I TiVo every golf tournament, every NASCAR event just because I like to see drama. If there is a playoff, I don’t want to miss it,” Freeze said. “Then late at night or early in the morning usually, I wake up at 4, 4:30, I’m watching all the things I have TiVo’d.”
There is a chance other head coaches from the SEC join Freeze in the Memphis, if he gets his way.
“(Auburn coach) Gus (Malzhan) wanted to come but he could get away from camp, but I think he’ll put it on his calendar for next year. (Steve) Spurrier? He’s my guy, but I don’t know about him or what his schedule is like,” Freeze said.
There were some tips offered up by Duval during the 18 holes, Freeze said.
“He’s like a lot of good pros. They know so much about the game. If you ask him anything, he’s going to tell you, but he’s not going to be overbearing or anything. He was great to play with,” Freeze said.