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How announcing became a family business at the FedEx St. Jude Championship

When the PGA TOUR comes to Memphis, the Weatherford family introduces the golfers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The FedEx St. Jude Championship can't start without the Weatherford family.

"Until we tell them, 'Are you ready?' And 'This is your tee time,' they don't get to tee off," Sheryl Weatherford said, one of three Weatherfords who serve as announcers during tournament week.

Ken Weatherford Jr., 71, was at the first PGA TOUR event in Memphis back in 1958. He has volunteered for over 40 years. And for the last 25 he has been the announcer on the first tee box.

"They said, 'Ken you're going to be the next announcer.' I said, 'I am?'" He recalled of his first day calling the names. "They called me up and said, we're ready to take you down to No. 1, and I started that day, blind basically."

Blind to what that day would turn into.

"It's a family affair," said Ken Weatherford III, who for the last 20 years has shared announcing duties with his father. 

"We're very close, which is a blessing," Ken Jr. said. "And we just started having the time of our lives out here together."

"Golf has been such a big part of our lives, of our relationship," Ken III said. "Getting to do this all these years with him together, it's magic." 

The Weatherfords have expanded to the back nine. Sheryl, Ken Jr.'s sister-in-law, is a starter on No. 10 tee.

"I think the women needed to be represented from the Weatherford family," she said. "They graciously let me come on board."

Following the round two cut, the Weatherfords come together to share announcing duties on the first tee for Saturday and Championship Sunday.

"I've got two boys of my own," Ken III said. "It's certainly my hope—fingers crossed—that I'll get to raise them up and have them join me on the tee someday."

After all, it is the family business.

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