I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dave Shedloski’s profile of Robert Garrigus in its entirety, and I recommend checking it out. As you may know, he went to rehab for 45 days for his addiction to marijuana, which naturally, comes up in the story. Garrigus, who tied for Low American with his T3 finish at the US Open, is incredibly likable and one of the nicest guys I’ve come across on the Tour. He’s also incredibly honest. As we’re always led to believe, Tour players are completely sinless. Well, you’ll find this part rather interesting (I’m personally not shocked):
When he arrived at Scottsdale Community College, he majored in golf but excelled in chemistry. “It was all golf and partying,” Garrigus says. “I never did hard drugs. I never did coke or LSD. It was just smoking and drinking and hanging out with friends. It was just a change for me, but the smoking got to be habitual: five, 10, maybe 20 times a day. I didn’t keep track of how much. I constantly needed to be high. And I took it to the max. Every single day. Mostly just smoking, smoking, smoking.”
And he took it with him when he turned professional in 1997, first to the Hooters and Gateway tours, and then, in 2000, to the Buy.com Tour (today’s Nationwide Tour). It was as much a part of his routine as hitting golf balls. Not surprisingly, his scores got high, too.
“I played well in spurts, but I would be really inconsistent,” he says. “I had no idea what the hell I was doing. It’s hard to be consistent if your body isn’t right, but it was part of my everyday life.”
That included lighting up inside the ropes, if you must know.
“Oh yeah, there were plenty of guys on the Nationwide Tour who smoked in the middle of the round,” Garrigus says without blanching. “We always talked about it. You could go in the Porta John and take your drags.
“I had a very high tolerance, and I didn’t know that it wasn’t helping me,” he says. “All you’re thinking is that it feels good, so it must be good for what you’re doing. It wasn’t until I quit that I realized how stupid it was. But I don’t regret any of it because it put me on the path I’m on now.”
The period in question is the 2002 season, six years before the tour instituted drug testing.
The Tour can’t fine players for something that happened nine years ago, right? I’d think that the statute of limitations expired long ago (as it should).