A quick look at the Contenders heading into the final round of this weeks BMW Charity Pro-am.
Justin Lower -23
Mito Pereira -20
Nick Hardy -18
Stuart Macdonald -17
Tommy Gainey -17
Jonathan Hodge -17
Justin Lower– If you aren’t rooting for him to make it to the Tour I can’t help you. Has dealt with so many near misses trying to get to Tour. He had an 8-footer to get his card in 2019 and missed it, missing out on his card by a few hundred dollars. He has also dealt with personal tragedy, losing his brother and father in a car accident when he was 15. Lower has always honest and open about his struggles, if he wins the interview will be can’t miss TV. He has been so helpful to me and nothing against the other guys in contention I’ll be pulling hard for him today.
Mito Pereira– Will earn a three win battlefield promotion to Tour with a win. He won last week in a playoff over Stephan Jager, denying Jager a three win promotion. He also won the second event of 2020 in the extended season. This is his ninth consecutive made cut. His rise shows close that are struggling are to turn the corner. In 2018 he lost his Korn Ferry card after finishing 121st on points list. He then went to LA Tour and went without a win, but still managed to finish 10th on points list.
Nick Hardy- What a year it has been, but still looking for his first win. This is his 29th made cut in 33 events on the KFT, including EIGHTEEN top-25’s. To give some insight into how hard Nick works, after playing 36 holes in one day at US Open qualifying and missing by one…He went out to the putting green with his coach and worked on his posture. One of the most respected and liked young players out there. Currently 15th in points, his Tour card is locked up.
Stuart Macdonald– Very quietly has made a fantastic run after really struggling for all of 2020 and most of 2021 before turning it around 6 weeks ago. He was WAY down the priority list, in fact was behind Mark and I a couple spots in Las Vegas, he was on the range waiting with us but didn’t get in. He got into Knoxville six week ago, on his number and took advantage and finished 7th. Since then, has finished 26th, 10th, 3rd, and 4th in consecutive weeks. He has moved all the way from 180th in points to 70th heading into today. For those that know…during this run he has had a legendary caddie on the bag who has the nickname “In the Way Ray”.
Tommy Gainey– Easy jokes aside, he is one of the best stories in golf. He went to a Tech school and before turning pro was working a water heater plant wrapping insulation. He was a cast member on the Big Break twice, winning the second time. He got his PGA Tour card via Q-school (as a fan I sure do miss those days) He then struggled really bad during the season and came to the last event in year needing a miracle to keep his card…and he finished 2nd. That got him into the top 150 on the money list and he retained his conditional card. In 2012 beat David Toms by one to win the McLardy Classic.
Jonathan Hodge– What a story this would be if he could get in contention. He has played just 10 events this year with just three made cuts. He has only one finish above 62nd and is currently 221st in points. Turned pro 11 years ago. Is one of the nicest guys and does not swear but uses a great saying at times when he hits a poor shot and is mad. He says, “Good Night Nurse” and I love everything about it. I have no idea what it means or why he uses it, and I do not want to. Once, while caddying in a Monday Q I accidently took his rain gear thinking it was my players. We had to find him on the course during the practice round to switch.