Top of the Morning, July 12, 2014

Top of the Morning, July 12, 2014

It's a big weekend for these two area youngsters:

AARON PINKERTON, St. Thomas More, Class of 2012

In the "Coolest Jobs" category, standard bearer at a PGA event ranks right up there.

Pinkerton spent the last two days walking alongside Steve Stricker, Jordan Spieth and Stewart Cink inside the ropes at the John Deere Classic. The 20-year-old's role: lugging a scoreboard used to inform the gallery of the trio's progress.

The pay isn't much — it's a volunteer role — but the view's priceless.

"Best part? Getting to see the players up close and see how good they really are," Pinkerton said. "Spieth is 6 months older than I am and in the Top 10 in the world. It makes me feel like a pretty bad golfer."

It's Pinkerton's second consecutive year working in Silvis. After Thursday's round, Stricker and Spieth thanked him and autographed golf balls for the Missouri junior to keep, a reward for a job well done.

"I kept a tight grip on the sign and didn't drop it," he said.

JULIANNE WALLACE, Mahomet-Seymour Class of 2011

Her advice for the field at today's Miss Champaign County Fair Queen Pageant:

— Pretend you enjoy walking in 4-inch heels.

— And count on going berserk if you win.

"You can practice winning," she said, "but it won't work. When they announce your name, the initial shock is overwhelming. I smiled, then I cried."

It's been an year to remember for the reigning 21-year-old queen, who will pass on the crown at Rantoul High (visit news-gazette.com later today for photos). Lately, the Parkland College student has been helping this year's contestants prepare, offering tips on everything from delivering a speech to working an audience.

The reward is worth all the work.

"After (today) it's back to regular ol' Julianne," she said. "I've had an amazing year and it's definitely sad it's coming to an end. It's bittersweet."

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