Villarreal-Levy '17 Set to Intern with the PGA of America at 2016 PGA Championship

Villarreal-Levy '17 Set to Intern with the PGA of America at 2016 PGA Championship

Sport Management major Alexander Villarreal-Levy ’17 will be interning with the PGA of America this summer at the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey.

Villarreal-Levy '17

Villarreal-Levy PGA Villarreal-Levy will be handling operational obligations and consulting duties ranging from dealing with maintenance of the golf course to working with major sponsors of the tournament. Playing golf all his life and being a member on the Rice men’s golf team, he looks to use his golf experience to learn what it’s like behind the scenes on the golf course.

“I have always had a passion for business and the game of golf,” said Villarreal-Levy. “Having an opportunity to combine these two interests in the form of an internship with the PGA of America seemed like an ideal situation.”

This opportunity came about over a dinner with head tournament director of the PGA Championship, Ben Rubin. Villarreal-Levy was in New York visiting his older brother when he was able to make the contact. “During the dinner, I told him my background and knowledge about the game of golf as well as being a part of the men’s golf team,” explained Villarreal-Levy. “Once again, it proved to me that making important connections if very important in the Sport Management industry.”

Baltusrol Golf Club, being 120 years old, is also no stranger to history. It has hosted a U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Amateur, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Women’s Amateur.

The PGA Championship is the last of the four majors in professional golf. Last year Jason Day took home the Wannamaker trophy and will be looking to defend his title this year. Past winners include a long list of greats such as Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus.

“It is extremely cool to be a part of the 2016 PGA Championship,” said Villarreal-Levy. “Helping put on one of golf’s most iconic tournaments and being able to interact with PGA professionals on a day to day basis will be an unreal experience.”

Kevin Reilly, a junior from Oviedo, Florida, is majoring in Sport Management.