In a lot of ways, covering the AT&T Byron Nelson feels like old home week. Familiar faces in the media room; a cadre of fabled players on the course. But, this year, two, new young writers caught our attention—namely, Melina Gonzalez and John Rodriguez—the very capable Momentous Institute students chosen to be this year’s “junior journalists.”

Both have a style and a work ethic that even those of us with “senior writer” status can learn a whole lot from.

These two young writers are there every day when the tournament begins, compose questions for their own interviews; take in all of the action, then write their stories the same day (or night)–just like those of us who do this for a living. Oh, and I forgot to mention—neither of these writers is quite done with the fifth grade.

Of course, no one learns the ropes alone.

The Jr. reporters take in some action on the tee box. Photo courtesy of Momentous Institute

Kate Whidden, M.A., director of leadership and governance for Momentous Institute and a former journalist herself, is mentoring these two aspiring writers day by day, with an assist from the affable, ever-impressive principal of Momentous Institute, Sandy Nobles.

Under their collective tutelage, Gonzalez and Rodriguez are turning out much more than regurgitated press notes. They’re getting to the bottom of things; telling stories with their own personal styles.  Just like great journalists do.

For example, John Rodriguez got a rare chance to cover golfers on the infamous 18th hole of the TPC Four Seasons inside the ropes.

I walked up the hill to the 18th tee, and something special happened. I got to go past the ropes and see a golfer tee off right in front of me….like just five feet away!

These golfers must’ve practiced a lot, because they were really good and made it look easy. But, it (golf) really isn’t.

Amen to that.

Melina Gonzalez, with Rodriguez, interviewed TOUR players Chris Stroud and Mark Hubbard. Based on Gonzalez’s article, this young journalist already has mastered the art of the lede.

Persistent. Joyful. Strong. Focused.

These are the words that I would use to describe the two professional golfers we interviewed.

The Jr. reporters had a great time with Mark Hubbard (r) and Chris Stroud. Photo courtesy of Momentous Institute

According to Gonzalez, although Stroud was born in Groves, Texas, and Hubbard was born in Denver, Colorado, they now live less than 20 minutes away from each other in The Woodlands, a Houston suburb. They both fell in love with the game of golf at a very young age.

When Melina asked what advice these two PGA TOUR pros would give to kids, these guys produced an answer we could all learn from: Do a job you love and always work hard.

As Melina said: Inspirational!

We see two Purpose2Play writers in the making. Keep up the good work, guys—and way to go, Momentous Institute, for making the AT&T Byron Nelson about so much more than golf.