Cary product is hottest golfer on PGA Tour
Posted May 27, 2014
Pinehurst, N.C. — Adam Scott is No. 1 in the world golf rankings and proved it by winning Sunday in a playoff against Jason Duffner for the Crowne Plaza Invitational championship.
But while Scott is No. 1, the hottest golfer in the planet right now is none other than former Cary Green Hope High star Brendon Todd. With rounds of 69, 69, 67 and 68 in the Crowne Plaza, the 28-year-old Todd ran his streak of sub-70 rounds to eight. En route to the Byron Nelson Invitational title on May 18, Todd had rounds of 68, 64, 68 and 66.
The streak has spiked the 28-year-old Todd’s statistics on all fronts and secured him a U.S. Open berth in Pinehurst (June 12-15). He’s up to 9th in the FedEx Cup standings, 57th worldwide and 11th in PGA Tour winnings for the season with $2,309,823 entering Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial this weekend in Dublin, Ohio.
Odds are Todd’s sub-70 streak will end on the difficult Muirfield Village course that Nicklaus gradually has groomed into one of the most demanding in the country.
But regardless of how Todd plays in Ohio, there’s every reason to assume that he’s finally hit the stride on the big tour that many golfing pundits predicted from his earliest days at Green Hope and then through his college career at Georgia.
But for a fairly long time, there were some indications he’d never gain this sort of traction. The turning point, he said, came in the 2011 Tour Qualifying School event in La Quinta, Calif. Having bounced up and down the ladder on the Web.com tour, he was at a career crossroads but responded with a stunning win in the Q-School tourney, which sent him back to the major tour for 2012. He had missed the cut in 27 of 37 starts on the Web.com (then Nationwide) tour in 2010 and ’11.
“There were some very, very low times,” Todd said after the Q-School win. “It never quite got to the point that I thought I’d give up, but I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was going wrong and how to fix it. Thankfully, I have a great wife (Rachel) and a great family support system.”
Now living in Atlanta, Todd had another career-changing moment two years ago when he enlisted the help of veteran coach Bill McInerney of Dedham, Texas.
With the help of McInerney, Todd’s putting has improved almost daily.
“It’s really made a huge difference in my confidence,” he said after the win in the Nelson.
Hadley needs to hold serve
Thanks to his tie for 9th in the Crowne Plaza on Sunday and move to 57th in the world rankings, Todd officially qualified for the U.S. Open on Pinehurst No. 2.
Ironically another Triangle player, Raleigh’s Chesson Hadley (North Raleigh Christian Academy, Georgia Tech), was moved out of the top 60 with Todd’s ascent.
Now 65th in the world rankings, Hadley can still get to Pinehurst if he can do enough to stay among the top 60 in the FedEx points race through the completion of the St. Jude Classic on June 8 in Memphis.
Currently, Hadley is in good shape at No. 46 on the FedEx list but he needs to hold on through the Memorial and St. Jude.
If all works out well, both will make it to Pinehurst and join 2012 Open winner Webb Simpson (Raleigh Broughton, Wake Forest) in an impressive reunion of former Wake Country prep standouts.
It would be a fitting tribute the long fertile local junior golf developmental programs.