Stallings Plays FedEx St. Jude Classic With Heavy Heart

(WMC-TV) - Playing Memphis this week was a homecoming of sorts for Scott Stallings.

The Oak Ridge, Tenn. native spent part of his childhood in Bolivar, where his father is from and some of his family still lives.

"It's a course I feel very comfortable on," Stallings said. "I've played it a lot. I have a ton of family here and friends."

But golf soon became the furthest thing from Stallings' mind.

"Unfortunately, my grandfather just passed away this morning, and I was specifically instructed not to withdraw," Stallings said on Wednesday. "It's definitely kind of a bittersweet week. We are going to have a lot of family here, not only for the tournament but for the funeral too."

Stallings said he was "pretty close" to withdrawing from the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

Skipping out on the tournament would have been the easy choice.

But Stallings decided to play, saying his grandfather wouldn't have it any other way.

"I know there's no question about it that he'd be very frustrated if he knew I didn't play, so I'll do my best this week," Stallings said. "Obviously my thoughts and everything are with my family, but they all encouraged me, I talked to my parents last night, I talked to my wife, and they all wanted me to play. So, I'll play"

"I think he's just out here in honor of my dad and he knows that this is one of the greatest things I like to do, watch him play, so he's sort of doing this for all of us, not himself," Stallings' father Tim said.

Golfing with a heavy heart proved too much too overcome, though.

Stallings finished at 3-over par, one stroke off the cut line.

But few could blame him, because at the end of the day, the score was secondary.