GLASGOW – Glasgow High School graduate Aaron Flener credits his family for sparking his interest in golf and for supporting his passion for the game.
On Sunday, Flener provided his loved ones with the ultimate return on their investment.
J.T. Poston fired an 8-under 62 on Sunday to capture his first PGA Tour victory while tying the Wyndham Championship tournament record with a total score of 22-under 258. There with him stride for stride was his caddie, Flener, who couldn't wait to call his parents and grandmother after the end of the round so they could share in the success.
And Sunday just happened to be his parents' 40th wedding anniversary.
"I appreciate all their support and I love them," Flener said of his parents, Alan and Gaye.
As impressive as Poston's play was, the win meant much more than simply a victory and the prize purse that came along with the achievement. Poston is now guaranteed a spot in next year's Masters and PGA Championship — two of the four major tournaments on the annual schedule.
"It's huge. It sets up our next two years basically where we can play our schedule and play the places he really likes and stay away from some of the courses that don't fit his eye as much, and there aren't too many of those," Flener said.
The win also puts Poston in position to be a threat in the FedExCup playoffs, which begin Thursday. Poston's win moved him to 27th in the playoff rankings, a slot ahead of the most recognizable player in the game, Tiger Woods.
Poston and Woods will play the first two rounds of The Northern Trust in Jersey City together this week.
"That's another bucket list thing for [Poston] and me," Flener said. "We've barely missed out on being paired with him a couple of times on the weekend."
Poston is guaranteed to play in the first two tournaments in the playoffs. If he does well, Poston will advance to the playoff finale, the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
"It's exciting because most of all, he's playing great at the right time heading into the playoffs," Flener said. "This week, we need to go out there and make the cut, but that's not what we're thinking about. He's playing so good, we're thinking about going out there and trying to get the win again."
Flener, 36, graduated from GHS in 2001, and played on a solid Scottie golf team that included Kent Bulle, who has competed in the U.S. Open and Open Championship.
Flener was working for the state of Tennessee in 2015 when Bulle called him and asked him to caddy for him on the PGA Tour Latin America. They agreed on a salary, and Flener joined his friend on what would turn into a career-making swing for both of the former Scotties.
"It was an unreal situation — one that most guys are not lucky enough to get," Flener said.
Bulle finished second on the money list and qualified for the Web.Com Tour.
Flener and Bulle parted ways after the pair worked together for about half of a season on the Web.Com Tour. Flener was quickly hired by Stephan Jaeger, who won three times in 14 months on the Web.Com Tour to earn his PGA Tour card.
Flener caddied for Jaeger for the start of his PGA Tour career in 2018. After they ended their working relationship, Flener was hired by Poston.
"Every relationship is different. Everybody has different personalities. For J.T. and I, we're very similar in our nature. We're both kind of laid back and not really bothered by anything," Flener said of Poston.
"My role with him is more reassurance that he's doing the right thing. He's a great guy."
Flener's parents were members of the Glasgow County Club when he was a child, and he started walking and playing nine holes by himself as a 10-year-old. Flener would meet up with a group of young guys around his age and they would play a lot of golf, learning the ways of the game from older members of the club.
While some country clubs and golf courses are perceived to be elitist to the point where younger players aren't welcomed, Flener said that was far from the case in Glasgow.
"They welcomed us and helped us and taught us and played us and made us better, and that was a great environment to grow up in and learn to play the game in," Flener said.
His grandparents were also members of a country club in Horse Cave, and when he visited them growing up, they also nurtured his love of the game.
"They would take us out and hit a bunch of range balls, then we would run down and pick them all up and do it all over again. Those are special memories for me," Flener said.
And Flener didn't forget his upbringing. He called his grandmother, Jean, right after the win Sunday.
"I told her we did it and I told her thank you for introducing me to golf," Flener said.
Poston will tee off in the Northern Trust with Woods and Scott Piercy at 6:43 a.m. CST Thursday. The Golf Channel will televise the tournament live on Thursday and Friday.