Golf is to the Rendells like apple pie is to America.
It shouldn’t surprise anybody if the Winnetka family turned its backyard into a putting green.
The legacy isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
Next week, Mills Rendell will be the third in his family to play at the Western Amateur when he tees it up at North Shore Country Club in Glenview.
“It’s really cool,” said the Vanderbilt sophomore, who also is a member at the local club. “This tournament is special to my family.”
The streak started with R. Mills Rendell, Mills’ grandfather, and continued with Brad Rendell, Mills’ father. Both played the tournament twice. What’s more, his sister Brittany plays at Bucknell, and younger brother Austin competes for the Trevians.
In arguably the best college conference in the country, Rendell earned a spot in the lineup for the SEC championships as a freshman. It was only his second tournament of the season.
“I went into school not playing as well I would have liked,” he said. “But I enjoyed it, and it was a good learning experience. I had a lot of fun.
“College weeds out the weaker players, and the SEC is one of the tougher conferences. You are competing against the best in the country, week in and week out.”
As an indication of the talent in the SEC, Harris English became the second Georgia Bulldog to win a pro tour event this year. He captured the Children’s Hospital Invitational on the Ohio State campus in Columbus on Sunday. He decided to skip the Western Am following that victory.
His teammate Russell Henley won on the Nationwide Tour and will join the field in Glenview.
As a member at North Shore, Rendell holds at least one advantage over the others in the field.
“I’m comfortable on the course,” said Rendell, who tied for sixth at the 2009 IHSA State Meet as a senior at New Trier and was a two-time team captain. “They’ve made some changes in the last year, and it’s unbelievable now. The course is getting tough, and it could be the toughest that I’ve ever played it. I’m excited for it.”