Gov. Dan McKee makes opening coin toss to Corridor of Fame Open
Gov. Dan McKee made the opening coin toss earlier than Wednesday’s match between Kevin Anderson and Sebastian Ofner on the Corridor of Fame Open in Newport.
Scott Barrett, Newport Every day Information
NEWPORT — It began throughout his childhood, when his father requested him to chop the grass. He favored it a lot, he began mowing the neighbors’ lawns. Earlier than lengthy, he was doing the whole neighborhood.
“The bug simply bit me and it saved rising and rising,” mentioned Jon Bengtson, who was raised in East Greenwich.
That bug finally led Bengtson to the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame, the place earlier this yr he was named superintendent of courts and grounds. This week is a giant one for Bengtson and his workers as gamers compete in the one grass-court ATP World Tour cease in North America.
The entire courts on the Newport On line casino have been resurfaced in 2019, and the opinions have been favorable from the professionals. That’s music to Bengtson’s ears.
“Any time you get constructive suggestions, it makes you’re employed tougher,” he mentioned. “You’re taking that and also you simply drive with it.”
From the New England Patriots to the Corridor of Fame
A 1989 graduate of Bishop Hendricken Excessive Faculty, Bengtson, 50, attended the College of Rhode Island to main in turf administration. In the course of the summers, he labored at golf programs, together with Quidnessett, Metacomet and Woodland Greens.
After graduating, he served because the assistant superintendent at Quidnessett, a job he held for six years. He was additionally briefly employed by Bryant College, the place the New England Patriots used to carry their coaching camp.
The Patriots took discover of Bengtson and, in 2003, he joined grounds crew workers with the NFL membership. On the time, Gillette Stadium was nonetheless pure grass, however even when it went to turf, Bengtson and the opposite members of the crew needed to care for 3 apply soccer fields and three apply soccer fields.
After 16 years, Bengtson left the Patriots and went again to golf, working on the Golf Membership at Turner Hill in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Quickly thereafter, the job on the Tennis Corridor of Fame opened.
“I undoubtedly love New England, after which to have the ability to come again to Rhode Island is even higher,” mentioned Bengtson.
‘Nice ambiance to be round’
Whereas he wasn’t concerned within the upgrades to the courts two years in the past, Bengtson is tasked with sustaining them. This week through the match, he arrives on the Corridor of Fame round 6 a.m., 5 hours earlier than the primary serve of the day, for a “typical walk-through the entire property.”
“I examine the wear and tear and tear, I examine moisture after which I’ll examine any sort of element that must be addressed,” Bengtson mentioned. A part of the explanation the courts are taking part in so nicely this week is as a result of the workers acquired them prepared forward of time.
“It’s all in regards to the prepping,” Bengtson mentioned. “We prepped very well coming into the match, so I felt actually good.”
Bengtson mentioned he actually loves what he does, and dealing on the Corridor of Fame.
“It’s only a nice ambiance to be round,” he mentioned. “I take pleasure in seeing all people having fun with themselves. That’s the important thing. I do know I thrive on it, seeing the gamers having a superb time. I take pleasure in watching the followers are available, that sort of stuff. The purpose is to maintain on pushing ahead and having profitable courts on daily basis.”
Bengtson mentioned he doesn’t work alone. He highlighted the ability of his assistant Fred Fletcher, the opposite full-time staffer on the Corridor of Fame, and the work ethic of his seasonal workers, 5 latest graduates of St. George’s Faculty who remained within the space after receiving their diplomas.
“I couldn’t ask for a bunch of higher guys,” Bengtson mentioned. “They’re hardworking and do something you ask them to do. They’re all nice youngsters, and in the event that they wish to come again subsequent yr, they’ve all acquired jobs. That simply tells you the way good they’re.”
Maybe, Bengtson, a type of youngsters working this summer season will get bitten by the bug.
The best way he did a long time in the past.