Golf

Nick Watney and His Famous Cousin Heidi Swapped Their Childhood Destinies

Nick Watney has been a professional golfer since 2003. He’s won in excess of $27 million in his career as a member of the PGA Tour. Watney’s cousin, Heidi, is a reporter/anchor for the MLB Network. Growing up, Nick wanted to be a baseball player. Heidi’s family history had her destined to be a golfer. Fate has a good sense of humor.

Nick Watney’s career as a PGA Tour 

RELATED: Medalist Golf Club Is Home to Biggest Names in Sports and Golf

Nick Watney joined the PGA Tour in 2005 after winning the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship. Two years after making his debut, Watney captured his first title at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Following his victory, the California native moved into the Top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings. 

After his second Tour win in 2009 at the Buick Invitational, Watney was in position to capture his first Major title at the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, holding a three-shot lead heading into the final round. Unfortunately, the pressure proved to be too much as Watney fired a final-round 81 to drop out of contention.

Watney’s biggest victory came in 2011 when he won the World Golf Championship at Doral holding off Dustin Johnson to win by two strokes. That same season, Watney won at AT&T National defeating K.J. Choi. To date, Watney has five PGA Tour wins to his credit, the latest coming in 2018 at the Barclays, where he beat Brandt Snedeker by three strokes.

Heidi Watney works her way up to the MLB Network

RELATED: 4 Analysts Who MLB Network Should Fire

Heidi Watney has never been one to shy away from the spotlight. She first attracted attention in 2002 when she competed in the Miss California USA pageant, where she finished as the first runner-up. A year later, the National Merit Scholar graduated from the University of San Diego with honors. 

Watney got her first job in broadcasting working as a sports radio talk show host with the ESPN radio affiliate in Fresno. She also worked as a weekend sports anchor for a local television station. Watney got her big break in 2008 when she joined NESN, a regional sports network in New England, where she worked as a Boston Red Sox on-field reporter, as well as the host of two Red Sox-specific news and entertainment shows.

In 2012, Watney joined the MLB Network. A year later, she started as host of the weeknight show Quick Pitch. She has continued to host the show since that time except for the first half of the 2018 season when she went on maternity leave and had a son. 

Growing up Watney

RELATED: PGA Tour Winner Daniel Berger Isn’t Even the Most Accomplished Athlete in His Family

As adults, both 39—born three weeks apart— now established and successful in their respective careers, the Watney cousins growing up never could have imagined they would be where they are today. In fact, their beginnings and their careers have turned out to be a trading places of sorts.

As a youngster, Heidi participated in a variety of sports, including hurdles, diving, gymnastics, and cheerleading. She had no interest in golf despite the fact her father had played on the PGA Tour and had been the long-time golf coach Fresno at State University. Nick, on the other hand, dreamed of one day playing professional baseball for the San Diego Padres. He played baseball until he was 16 and was a better-than-average player.

For years Nick steered clear of golf despite his uncle’s job. He was determined to play baseball. 

“I felt like I could hit a baseball, but golf was extremely difficult. It was just an intriguing game, and I got hooked pretty fast,” Watney told PGATour.com. 

With his uncle guiding him along the way, Nick Watney steadily improved during his high school years. Upon graduation, he joined his uncle at Fresno State, where he became a three-time All-American.

As they say, the rest is history.