I just had one of those weeks -- one tournament has completely changed the rest of my year.
I entered the Transitions tournament in Tampa, Fla., last week through a sponsor exemption. (If you're not familiar with exemptions, it's when a golfer requests to be invited to play in a tournament that he hasn't qualified for. The tournament considers all of these requests and accepts only a small number out of each player category -- only two in my case.)
When I found out that I had won the sponsor exemption, I knew that this was a huge opportunity. I just needed to take advantage of it.
And I did. In a field of 144 other players, I finished in third place, which means I earned $374,000. In a matter of four days, I went from the bottom of the PGA Money List to #57. That changes everything: Before this tournament, I was ranked so low that really the only way I was going to get into other events was if other players decided not to play. Now I can breathe a huge sigh of relief. After a finish like this I'll likely play in the majority of the tournaments for the rest of the year without having to wait to get in.
Not bad for a week's work. And to top it off, this week I made my first hole-in-one in a tournament!
One thing I learned this week: There's a lot of money riding on every shot. Of course, I knew this is true once you move up to the PGA level but this week reinforced the point. My last shot of the day on Sunday was a 2-foot putt. If I had missed that shot, it would have cost me $100,000.
Aside from the week that I earned my PGA Tour card, this has been the best week of my professional career and I can't wait to get out there again.
But for the moment, I'm excited to do the one thing I haven't been able to do since early January -- go home to Knoxville. The life of a rookie on tour means weekly travel and lots of last minute changes in plan. One of the best things about moving up in the rankings is the fact that now I have much more control over my schedule. So my first order of business is a much-needed week off.
I'm back on the course next week in Houston.
Scott Stallings's business is golf. He's blogging for BNET as he travels about 300 days a year playing on the PGA Tour.