BEHIND THE SCENES - It was apparent watching eventual 2022 Major II Champion Jarrett Swan play the last 5 holes that every shot meant a lot. Just how much though, well we wouldn't know that until he 2 putted from 20 feet for the win (and the $10k winners check) on the difficult par-4 closing hole at Abacoa Golf Club where he let out a big sigh of relief and looked at the Tournament Director and said "Man I needed that one, now I can get out of credit card debt". And no he doesn't mean debt from buying fancy things. He means debt from the expenses of chasing the dream of playing golf on the PGA Tour.
This win came on Jarrett's 30th birthday and not long after losing his mentor Loy Stewart just one month ago. Swan is getting married this fall and playing the best golf of his life. Keep it up Jarrett!
And if Jarrett didn't hit the great shots coming down the stretch this article could be very similar for a number of other players that were in contention. In fact before the final round started Tournament Director and Korn Ferry Tour member Piri Borja were chatting on the range about how the only reason he was able to play this event was because even though all of his credit cards were maxed out, last week out of the blue he got a notice that one of his cards was extending his limit by $1,000. So he decided "I'm going to bet on myself" and signed up for the 2-day MLGT event at Fox Club last week. He played well (66-72) finishing tied for 2nd and turning his $520 investment into $1,809 which allowed him to afford the entry fee into this week's Major. He played solid here (69-72) finishing T10 and turned that $750 investment into $1,378.50.
Steve LeBrun, a long time MLGT member who has spent the majority of his professional career on the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour made a comment after winning a Qualifying School Contest on the MLGT in 2017 and earning a full paid Q-School entry fee. He said "That was a big win for me. I'm still paying off credit card bills of the last 5 years (2012-2016) of Q-School entries. Getting my Q-School paid for is huge."
The point is it's not private jets and steak dinners every night for all professional golfers. The average golf fan doesn't realize how much talent there is at the "Minor League" level. These guys can flat out play too. So next time you hear there is a professional golf tournament being played at a club in your area go out and watch a few holes, say hi to a player and get to know them. Maybe that player needed someone in their corner to push them to make it to the next level. Once they make it on the PGA Tour you can't get close to them but the future is playing now and if you haven't been to a MLGT event you'll be surprised how good these guys are.