Sam Fidone, Will Griffin take competitive friendship north of the border

Sam Fidone, Will Griffin take competitive friendship north of the border

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - At a young age Sam Fidone and Will Griffin would step onto the practice greens of Crown Colony Country Club and envision themselves on the famous greens of Augusta Nationals.

"Ever putt was to win a Masters or the U.S. Open," Fidone said. "In reality we were just playing for a Coke."

As they have grown up the dream is still there.

"We are happy to be at the level we are at right now," Fidone said. "Our games are getting better and better every single year."

In March, Fidone won the PGA Tour Canada Q school event in Santee, CA. Earlier this month, Griffin shot a -16 to finish 3rd in the PGA Tour Canada Q school event in  Courtenay, BC, Canada.

"I was leading in my event and one of the guys interviewed me and asked if I knew Sam and I said, 'Yes, we are good friends," Griffin said. "At the time they thought I might win the event and that would be two guys from Lufkin, this small town in Texas to win the qualifying events. They made a pretty big deal about that."

Fidone knew he had a good chance to go back to the PGA Latin American Tour where he had success, but he wanted to move up on the professional ladder.

"I took a little bit of a risk," Fidone said. "I could have gone back down and re-qualified but I chose the Canada Q school route and it paid off."

For the two Lufkin natives, playing in Canada is a step in the right direction.

"I tell people It is like the baseball system" Griffin said. "You have the pros and then the minors. We are pretty close to Triple A baseball. We are a step from the Tour and basically one good year away from the PGA Tour."

Each day brings a different result. One Day Griffin will best Fidone. The next day, Fidone will get his payback. It is a friendship pushed by a competitive nature.

"The goal I think for both of us one day is to be playing each other on tour and dueling it out like we do here," Griffin said.

Playing golf on a daily basis in East Texas for practice can be challenging. The summer-like temperatures the region has experienced over the month of May will wear on the body. It is one thing the two friends will not have to deal with once they get north of the border.

"When we were in Canada it was perfect," Griffin said. "When we got off the jet way it just hits you and you are like, 'Man, It's warm.'"

When Fidone and Griffin take their first shot in Vancouver, the temperature will be in the low 60s.

"It is going to be nice," Fidone said. "I will like it until it gets a little too cool. I just got finished packing yesterday and I put three sweaters in my bag. I never thought I would be doing that this time of year."