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By Jon King

theo anderson

here is an unassuming, two-lane street and a portion of the Norristown High Speed Rail Line that separates the campus of Haverford College from the 18th fairway at Merion Golf Club’s historic East Course. On Father’s Day last June on the east side of the tracks, Alvernia senior Colin Donovan was wrapping up a three-week internship with MSG Promotions at the 2013 U.S. Open. On the other side of the tracks, Englishman Justin Rose was putting the final touches on his first major golf championship, and the first U.S. Open title for his beloved homeland in 43 years. “I’m not really into golf,” said Donovan when asked how he landed the internship. “A friend of mine did the internship the year before and said he really liked it. I needed an internship and it sounded pretty cool.” Rose’s post-round emotions were more profound. “This is a childhood dream come true,” said Rose, addressing the media in a tent that took up most of what is usually the driving range for the East Course. “I’ve worked my whole life for this and holed the winning putt hundreds of thousands of times.” Donovan’s experience that week, while not quite as life-altering as Rose’s, got him hooked on the game and booked for the 2014 U.S. Open in Pinehurst, North Carolina. For the 2013 event, he was stationed in a hospitality tent located on the grounds of Haverford College, just a few hundred yards from the 18th green. Donovan was working to entertain some of the tournament’s corporate sponsors who are clients of MSG — the official hospitality provider of the U.S. Open. “I was with maybe 14 other interns working for MSG,” said Donovan. “We were there to make sure everything got set up 100 percent. For two weeks leading up to the event our workdays were basically 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., but once the tournament started we were there at 4 a.m., until about 9 p.m. at night.” Some of the bigger-name MSG clients at Merion included Rolex, Lexus, IBM and the Philadelphia Eagles, giving Donovan the opportunity to rub elbows with some local celebrities. “It was great to meet Michael Phelps,” said Donovan when asked who some of his favorite meetings were. “Then there was Ron Jaworski, Eagles owner [Jeffrey Lurie], Governor Tom Corbett and some of the Eagles players. I also got to meet ESPN broadcasters Scott Van Pelt and Roger Maltbie.” The U.S. Open plans to run the women’s and men’s opens in successive weeks at Pinehurst No. 2 this June, and Donovan plans to be there in his same role for both. “Right after it was finished I knew I wanted to do it again,” said Donovan, who will be one of just 11 interns working with MSG this summer. I made sure I gave it my all and let them know I wanted to do it again.” Donovan, a communication major at Alvernia, hopes to turn his experiences into a career in sports, either in broadcasting or working with a sports agency. After logging a few 15-hour days, Donovan and his co-workers were permitted to cross the tracks and watch the tournament finish up. “I watched the last hole on the last day a little bit,” said Donovan. “We watched maybe five guys finish. We saw Phil and Justin. Our boss said you guys have worked hard enough, go enjoy the finish. I never knew golf was such a big spectator sport until I was there. It was great seeing that atmosphere.” At the center of the atmosphere, Rose was negotiating a par at the 72nd hole, giving him a two-shot win and exemptions into the next 10 U.S. Opens. Back down the fairway tucked under a tree, Donovan was soaking it all in. Both men will pack their bags for a return trip this summer hoping to take another step in defining their careers.

Alvernia University Magazine

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Alvernia Magazine Summer 2014  
Alvernia Magazine Summer 2014  

Alvernia Magazine Summer 2014