Until Monday’s pro-am, Peter Tomasulo hadn’t walked 18 holes since the Nationwide Tour Championship during the last week of October — and that was with the aid of a cane. The 29-year-old Long Beach, California native suffered a broken bone in the outside of his foot (the fifth metarsals) in a friendly west coast vs. east coast pick-up basketball game before the start of the NWT Chattanooga Classic earlier that month.
“The West Coast was winning at the time,” said Tomasulo with a smile. “Even without [Michael] Putnam (who is 6-5, 250 pounds and a former all-state high school basketball player in Washington State).”
Tomasulo played the season-ending NWT Championship hobbling on one foot because the top-25 on the NWT money list earn their PGA Tour cards and he didn’t want to fall outside the cut. He endured all 72 holes and finished 58th to make enough money to recollect his card (he earned it for ’09 after finishing 11th on the NWT money list in ’08), but he dropped several spots to No. 23 (every number/shot counts for better status to get into more tournaments).
Hoping to improve his status, Tomasulo, who played on the PGA Tour in 2009, entered Q-School in December, but his foot wasn’t up for the grueling six-round marathon. He walked 13 holes in a practice round before making the decision to withdraw.
“It’s finally better,” said Tomasulo on Tuesday by the practice putting green at Waialae Country Club. “It still gets a little sore. I did physical therapy and some training to get myself in better shape (the past few months). It feels better, but the doctor says I’m going to be hurting for six months or more. It doesn’t hurt bad enough where it’s going to be a problem.”
Going into the week, Tomasulo was the second alternate. On his way to play in the Monday Qualifier at Turtle Bay, he got a call telling him that he was in the field at this week’s Sony Open because of Dustin Johnson withdrawing due to “personal matters” back home in South Carolina.
“I didn’t get as much practice as I’d like to start the season, but I got plenty of time to relax and have some fun in Long Beach,” said Tomasulo. “I’m looking forward to getting going because it’s been since the beginning of October that I’ve played a tournament. I’m kind of itching to go again.”
He joked, “I can’t do anything sports-related anymore because of my foot. My only hobby is drinking beer — it used to be basketball and stuff like that.”
Putnam, who is paired with Tomasulo in the first two rounds, is looking forward to battling it out with Peter.
“We’ve been rivals our whole life and my only goal this week is to beat him,” deadpanned Putnam, who is also reemerging on the PGA Tour after playing on the NWT the past few years.
“Last time I was paired with him I withdrew,” added Tomasulo with a smile. “I’m going to play this time. It’s going to be a tough couple of days, but I’ll deal with it.”
The weather? That, too, probably.