Tag Archives: PGA Tour Rookies

Jan
24
2011
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

As the sun was quickly vanishing behind the mountains in La Quinta, California, Jhonattan Vegas drained a 13-foot par putt to beat Gary Woodland on the second playoff hole to win the Bob Hope Classic, his second tournament as a PGA Tour rookie and his fifth career start. Similar to Vegas’ journey to the PGA Tour, he ran into a few bumps along the course, but compared to the hurdles he’s cleared just to play competitive golf, it was no sweat.

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Jan
24
2011
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Keegan Bradley: power-hitting rookie notches his first top ten

Keegan Bradley made a start that, if not life-changing, was a major league confidence boost. In his second-career start on the PGA Tour, the rookie, who finished 14th on the Nationwide Tour money list last year, shot 66-67-68-66-70 to finish T7 at the Bob Hope Classic.

On the eve of the first round, Keegan said his goal was to stay relaxed and patient and have more fun — things that worked well for him in pro-am tournaments on the Nationwide Tour last year, where he shot a 61 at two different events. Apparently, he carried out the game plan like a veteran.

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Jan
19
2011

Rookies Keegan Bradley, Jamie Lovemark, Nate Smith play a practice round at Sony Open

Ask any PGA Tour player and 9 of 10 will tell you the PGA Tour can be a very lonely place, especially for rookies trying to adjust to life in the big leagues. Most guys travel with their significant others and families, which makes after-golf socializing rarer than you might think (unless you’re European, of course). But friendships forged on the Nationwide Tour, the minors, have created a strong bond between some players, making the transition easier right out the gate.

Take Jamie Lovemark (22), Keegan Bradley (24), Nate Smith (27) and Chris “Bobby” Baryla (28, who is still considered a rookie because he only made seven starts before taking a major medical exemption), for example. The four rookies, along with Lovemark’s babysitter manager, Ben Walter, rented an unbelievable house on the water in Honolulu for the week of the Sony Open.

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Jan
15
2011
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Nate Smith reacts to draining a putt at the WNB Golf Classic for his first Nationwide Tour victory last September

One day PGA Tour rookie Nate Smith goes fishing and jumps off cliffs into the Pacific Ocean with a spear in hand. The next, he plays in his career-first round on the PGA Tour and shoots five-under 65 (T2) at Waialae Country Club to kick off the Sony Open. No big deal. Check out Nate’s account of his day.

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