It’s one of Greg Wilson’s favorite stories to tell.
In 2006, a young golfer named Zach Johnson came to speak.
“He was a guy nobody had heard of,” said Wilson, the area director of the Greater Augusta Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which holds the free breakfast on Tuesday at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta.
A year later, Johnson became the 2007 Masters Champion. It was Easter Sunday.
Wilson hopes this year’s speaker – 2013 Honda Classic champion Michael Thompson – might have similar success after speaking at this year’s breakfast.
“The men of this church pray for a man who will win and honor Christ with that win,” Wilson said.
The 27-year-old Thompson is in his third year on the PGA Tour. He played at Tulane University before Hurricane Katrina shut down the school’s golf program, then transferred to the University of Alabama, where he played under former Augusta State University golf coach Jay Seawell.
As an amateur, Thompson missed the cut at the 2008 Masters after calling a penalty stroke on himself.
“He’s got a great testimony,” Wilson said. “He’s a good speaker.”
The annual breakfast started in 1994, with golfer Tom Lehman speaking to about 25 men of Warren Baptist’s men’s ministry. Today, the breakfast draws more than 1,000 attendees. About half are from other cities, visiting Augusta for the tournament, Wilson said.
Speakers over the years have included golfers Bernhard Langer, Larry Mize, Stewart Cink, Franklin Langham, Jonathan Byrd, K.J. Choi and broadcaster Pat Summerall.
That so many golfers would give of their time at the start of Masters Week is a testament to their faith, Wilson said.
“They’re already thinking about the practice rounds when they get here,” he said. “It’s unique they volunteer their time on a busy, important week of the year for them.”
Hundreds of volunteers show up before sunrise to help make the breakfast possible.
“There is no cost,” Wilson said. “It’s an outreach.”
The breakfast ends just after 8 a.m., leaving plenty of time to make it to the gates, Wilson added.