Like many golfers I had visions of one day playing on the PGA Tour, competing against the best players in the world, winning golf tournaments and of course reaping the financial benefits.
In other words, living the dream!
Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, and as is the case for most golfers, my dream never became a reality. And as I mentioned in my initial blog post, after 15 years as a golf professional, I moved on and got a real job!
However, something happened Monday that brought back memories of those days long ago when all things golf dominated my life. Kingston's Matt McQuillan beat the odds, making it through all three stages of qualifying school to secure a PGA Tour card for the 2011 season.
A great story really. Not that long ago Matt wasn't playing much competitive golf despite a stellar amateur record and a promising start to his professional career that included a win on the Canadian Tour in 2005 at the Edmonton Open. Instead a lack of funds had relegated the then 27-year-old to playing local events when he wasn't tending bar or delivering pizzas to make ends meet.
Fortunately he was able to keep his skills sharp despite the lack of play and when a new sponsor came forward to back him in 2009, he cobbled together a competitive schedule that included a mix of U.S. mini-tour and Canadian Tour events, culminating in a tie for 16th place in the six-round, pressure-cooker that is the final stage of PGA Tour qualifying.
Now I don't know Matt and I don't profess to be as talented a golfer as he is, but I do have some appreciation for how difficult it is to play golf for a living and to make it to the PGA Tour. In fact, Henry Brunton, a Canadian PGA Master Professional and the Royal Canadian Golf Association's National Golf Coach, in his Master's thesis, explains that the odds of even the most elite amateur golfers advancing to the PGA Tour is very low.
Something akin to winning the lottery really!
So hearing that a 29-year-old from a relatively small town like Kingston can overcome the long odds and make his dream of becoming a PGA Tour golfer a reality...well it makes me wonder if maybe, just maybe...I mean someone has to win the lottery and after all, I have 4 years to work on my game before I'm eligible for the Champions Tour!
So congratulations Matt, all the best next season and thanks for giving a dreamer something to dream about.
For more on Matt http://ow.ly/3lheF
And to read Henry's thesis http://www.cpga.com/membership/index.aspx?l=0,1,46,54,491