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Northbrook native Nick Hardy competes in NV5 Invitational in Glen Elyn as he prepares for return to PGA Tour

Nick Hardy using NV5 Invitational as a rehab start of sorts before return to PGA Tour
Nick Hardy using NV5 Invitational as a rehab start of sorts before return to PGA Tour 02:38

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It's a big weekend in the northern suburbs for many golfers chasing that PGA Tour dream, and an area pro is taking a little detour on that road.

Golf's number 2 tour, the Korn Ferry Tour, is back at the Glen Club in Glen Elyn. The old Evans Scholars Invitational is now the NV5 Invitational.

Northbrook native Nick Hardy probably didn't think he'd be playing in this year's event, but he's making the most of it.

Hardy is happy to be back home.

"I played a lot of golf at this course; literally a couple miles from my high school, and where I grew up. So it's really special," he said.

The former Glenbrook North and Illini golfer is making an unexpected stop back on the Korn Ferry Tour. Hardy has been playing on the PGA Tour this season, but a wrist injury knocked him out a month, and this ended up being the perfect place for what's essentially a rehab start.

"I knew that I was going to have to miss a few events that I was going to get into … which stunk, but at least I get to come play at home. I kind of circled that right away on my schedule," Hardy said.

This is Hardy's first year on the PGA Tour. He earned his card by playing well in events like the NV5 Invitational. He finished 5th in the NV5 just last year. 

Hardy said it was "very special" to earn his PGA Tour card.

"I've worked my whole life to get to this. I feel like it's obviously been a goal of mine my whole life," he said.

Like many young golfers, Hardy has had some struggles playing at golf's highest level. He missed the cut in 6 of 7 PGA Tour starts before his injury.

"I'm not discouraged at all about my start," he said. "Every step of the way, I've dealt with some disappointing times. Even my college years, freshman and sophomore year went through struggles. Early on in my professional career, I didn't have status for a year. So I definitely related to that. When you zoom out and look at the big picture, there are peaks and valleys in my life in golf. So it hasn't gone my way that well out there this year, but I know that I'm becoming a better player. I just haven't seen the results yet."

Before he goes back to work in the PGA Tour, a win in his hometown event would be a nice little jumping off point.

"Last year, playing in the final group on the weekend, that was super special. I really am motivated to get myself back in that grouping, and hopefully a better result this time, but that's super special having the support here and feeling it," he said.

What would it mean to win?

"The world. I mean, it would mean a ton, that's for sure," he said.

Hardy is currently tied for the lead in the 2nd round at the Glen Club, so definitely putting himself in position to get that victory.

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