CofC golfer soaks in lessons from Bryan family

William Rainey of the College of Charleston men’s golf team has enjoyed a first hand look at what it takes to reach the highest level in the game of golf.
Over the past few years he’s been mentored by brothers Wesley and George Bryan IV of South Carolina. Rainey watched as Wesley went from creating viral trick shot videos with George IV, to becoming a successful PGA Tour pro.
Wesley recently won the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, becoming the first golfer from the host state to win the PGA Tour event. Wesley has had three other top 10 finishes on Tour this year, and moved into the top 20 in FedEx Cup standings. His brother George IV is also an accomplished golfer having been a three-time All American at the University of South Carolina, and played on mini tours.
Their father, George III, is a golf instructor who operates George Bryan Golf Academy in Chapin, and previously qualified for the 1999 PGA Championship and 2004 RBC Heritage.
Completing an impressive family foursome, their sister, Mary Chandler, is also a gifted golfer. Earlier this month she tied for second in the Carolinas Women’s Amateur Championship, and she previously qualified for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. Mary played for the College of Charleston women’s team from 2012 through 2016, and it was during that time that she met and began dating Will Rainey.
Not surprisingly Rainey has fit in well with the Bryan golfing family.
“My brothers love him too,” says Mary Chandler. “He fits right in with the family.”
Rainey has been around the family long enough now to learn a lot from the brothers and watch Wesley’s considerable rise in the game.
“It’s the coolest thing in the world to have a mentor like that,” says Rainey. “I’m about to turn pro, and talking to George and Wesley is great because they’ve been through it all. I started dating Mary Chandler when Wesley was on the mini-tours. I’ve seen the whole process. I’ve asked Wesley all kinds of questions, and he gives me a lot of good advice.”
Such advice can only help as Rainey transitions to the next level of the game. He recently wrapped up a very successful college career, earning distinction as the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Golfer of the Year in 2017. He was a 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship individual finalist in 2016 and the 2016 CAA Individual Champion. He is a four-time CAA All-Tournament Team selection and is ranked second all-time in single season scoring average (71.58).
Last month, Rainey teamed up with David Kocher for the U.S. Amateur Four Ball Championship in Pinehurst. They reached the quarterfinals before falling to Frankie Capan and Shuai Ming Wong, who went on to win the championship. Mary Chandler caddied for Rainey.
Given all of his accomplishments during his college career, Rainey has plenty in common with the Bryan family. But it doesn’t stop there. He also has a little experience with trick shots.
In fact, Mary Chandler says Rainey may be just as good as her brothers. “He says they took him out of business, but I still think Will’s better,” she said. “I’ll take his side.”
Before the Bryan brothers became worldwide trick shot stars, Rainey had a number of trick shot videos of his own, including one in which he hits a football into a basketball hoop from about 45 yards.
“That took off and got about 3 million views on Vine,” Rainey said. “Right after that, the Bryan brothers started doing their thing like a profession. I’ll bust out a few [trick shots] here and there, but the Bryan brothers, they retired me.”