From the Farm to the Links, Louisville's Cobb Leads eGolf Event - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

From the Farm to the Links, Louisville's Cobb Leads eGolf Event

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Kannapolis, NC – Brandon Cobb of Louisville, GA could have shot 26 or 27 on his closing nine during Wednesday's opening round of the eGolf Tour's ninth annual Southern Open. Instead, he finished with a 6-under 29 to round out a first-round 64, good enough to seize a two-shot lead heading into Thursday's second round of the 72-hole event. The 64 – his career low on the eGolf Tour – added further evidence to the thought that he made the right call this past winter, leaving behind work on a family farm to chase golf's ultimate dream for another two years and beyond.

The Southern Open is the 14th of 24 scheduled events on the 2013 eGolf Tour schedule, and is being contested this week at The Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis, NC.

Cobb entered the opening round with just one made cut under his belt this year – a 56th-place finish at the Championship at St. James in April. Seven missed cuts in his other starts left only the best imaginations to dream up a day-one 64 at Irish Creek, but Cobb more than delivered in a round which could have been three to four shots lower.

Starting his day on the back nine of the Davis Love III-designed course, Cobb got off to a solid start, posting birdies at 12 and 15 to settle in at 2-under par through six holes.

On the demanding par-4 17th, the 36-year-old flew the green with his second shot, leading to a bogey that dropped him back down to 1-under for the day. Fortunately, it would be the last bogey he'd card on Wednesday.

"I didn't get up and down there on 17, but on 18, I hit a hybrid to 15 feet to set up a good look," said Cobb, who missed the putt to turn at 1-under 35.

On the front nine (his back), Cobb went into overdrive, starting with a birdie on the par-4 first that gave way to a dramatic hole-out eagle from 108 yards on the par-4 second, suddenly vaulting the former Georgia State golfer to 4-under on the round.

"I knew I hit a good shot on No. 2, but none of us could see it land," Cobb said. "So when we got up to the green and started walking towards the hole, all I could think was, ‘Please be mine. Please be mine.' Thankfully it was."

The unlikely eagle led into a birdie at the tricky par-3 third, and suddenly Cobb was tied for the lead at 5-under par.

On No. 4, a stellar second shot to 4 feet set up what should have been a kick-in birdie, but he missed the putt to remain at 5-under.

At the drivable par-4 fifth, Cobb's tee shot found the putting surface, leading to a two-putt birdie. The very next hole, a stealth 3-wood second shot from 260 yards set up another two-putt birdie that moved him two shots clear of the field at 7-under par.

"I was hitting a lot of good shots, but it wasn't like I was making everything," said Cobb, citing the back-to-back two putts, hole out, and missed 4-footer. "It could have been crazy on that side, maybe 26ish."

Solid pars on Nos. 7 and 8 brought Cobb to the par-4 ninth, where yet another precision approach shot set up a 4-foot birdie try. But again, he failed to convert, having to settle for a disappointing par on a day where everything else received full approval.

"I'd been struggling with my game, especially after cracking the face on my favorite driver a few months back," said Cobb, who borrowed one from his cousin, three-time eGolf Tour winner David Robinson. "My old faithful cousin David let me borrow one of his, and I didn't miss a fairway with it today."

While the vast majority of the Southern Open field has spent the last six years playing college and professional golf, working 24 hours a day towards a lifelong PGA TOUR dream, Cobb has spent time at home, working on the family business.

From 2000 through 2005, Cobb bounced around a number of mini-tours, chasing a white ball and the thought that golf would be his profession. After the 2005 season, he gave up the professional game, applied for his amateur status, and went to work for his family's "feed, seed and fertilizer" business.

"We have a family agriculture business back home, and that's what I did," he said. "I taught some golf here and there, but I didn't compete. I had a full-time job on the farm."

Cobb's long days at home were spent providing fertilizer for area farmers and row cropping wheat and soybeans. To say it was a country mile removed from tournament play would be a vast understatement. Watching his cousin David achieve success in the game, garnering eGolf Tour leading money winner honors in 2008, certainly didn't help to keep Cobb's thirst for golf at bay.

When a Georgia businessman offered to put him up for two years' worth of sponsorship money last year, if he'd simply give it another shot, Cobb pounced.

"My life is different now than it was the first time I tried this," said Cobb, who played in the John Deere Classic and a handful of Web.com Tour events during his first pro stint. "I have a two-year-old girl at home, so golf has a bit more perspective than it did before."

Earlier this year, after joining the eGolf Tour, he reclaimed his status as a professional, opting to give it another go for the next 730 days to see what he could find.

"I'm 36 years old, and these guys look at me as if to say, ‘What are you doing out here at 36?'" joked Cobb after his round. "I'm one of the shortest hitters out here, but I can get it around."

With some of his early-season struggles in the past, Cobb feels more at ease this week than perhaps he did in the late winter, early spring.

"Getting back in the comfort zone of playing professional golf, being under the gun, it took me a while," he said. "The quality of players now is 100 percent better than it was from 2000 through 2005. Out here, the guys that stay in the top 10 could be on the PGA TOUR easily."

The game needs the stories, needs the longshots – needs more Robert Landers, who earned fame in the mid-1990's after leaving the tractor for the fairways of the Champions Tour.

Cobb, simply put, could be that guy.

 

The Southern Open

The Club at Irish Creek

Par 71; 7,099 yards

 

 

First-Round Results

 

 1    Brandon Cobb            Louisville, GA          29-35--64 -7  
 T2   Chip Lynn               Lillington, NC          32-34--66 -5  
 T2   Preston Dembowiak       Greensboro, NC          32-34--66 -5  
 T2   Amory Davis             Chadds Ford, PA         31-35--66 -5  
 T2   Jordan Walor            Wake Forest, NC         33-33--66 -5  
 T2   Corbin Mills            Easley, SC              32-34--66 -5  
 T7   Travis Ross             Crookston, MN           34-33--67 -4  
 T7   Vince Hatfield          Greenwood, SC           33-34--67 -4  
 T7   Marshall Pickett        Charlotte, NC           36-31--67 -4  
 T7   Joshua Brock            Wilmington, NC          32-35--67 -4  
 T11  Drew Weaver             Sea Island, GA          34-34--68 -3  
 T11  Seamus Power            Ireland                 31-37--68 -3  
 T11  Michael Marshburn       Cary, NC                34-34--68 -3  
 T11  John Hahn               Las Vegas, NV           32-36--68 -3  
 T11  Donnie Baucom           Orangevale, CA          32-36--68 -3  
 T11  Matt Atkins             Owensboro, KY           30-38--68 -3  
 T17  Timothy Madigan         Rio Rancho, NM          33-36--69 -2  
 T17  Ryan Nelson             Charleston, SC          35-34--69 -2  
 T17  Jack Fields             Southern Pines, NC      34-35--69 -2  
 T17  Harold Varner III       Gastonia, NC            34-35--69 -2  
 T17  Kevin McLister          Charlotte, NC           33-36--69 -2  
 T17  Taylor Floyd            Forsyth, GA             33-36--69 -2  
 T17  Will Collins            Salisbury, NC           33-36--69 -2  
 T17  Bryce Ledford           Chattanooga, TN         35-34--69 -2  
 T17  Jonas Enander Hedin     Charlotte, NC           32-37--69 -2  
 T17  John-Tyler Griffin      Wilson, NC              34-35--69 -2  
 T17  Robbie Greenwell        Ontario, Canada         35-34--69 -2  
 T17  Ethan Tracy             Charlotte, NC           33-36--69 -2  
 T17  David Bradshaw          Harpers Ferry, WV       33-36--69 -2  
 T17  Daniel Bowden           Easley, SC              34-35--69 -2  
 T17  Chris McCartin          Raleigh, NC             33-36--69 -2  
 T17  Jonathan Cox            Marietta, GA            34-35--69 -2  
 T17  Daniel Stanley          Spartanburg, SC         32-37--69 -2  
 T17  Paul Woodbury           Lake City, SC           32-37--69 -2  
 T17  Tyler McCumber          Ponte Vedra Beach, FL   35-34--69 -2  
 T17  Tyler Way               Charlotte, NC           32-37--69 -2  
 T17  Jeb Buchanan            Loudonville, NY         34-35--69 -2  
 T38  Martin Jeppesen         Saline, MI              33-37--70 -1  
 T38  Bruce Woodall           Yanceyville, NC         34-36--70 -1  
 T38  Michael Shrader         Midlothian, VA          33-37--70 -1  
 T38  Cam Burke               Ontario, Canada         34-36--70 -1  
 T38  Dustin Bray             Charleston, SC          34-36--70 -1  
 T38  George Bryan IV         Chapin, SC              32-38--70 -1  
 T38  Frank Adams III         Salisbury, NC           34-36--70 -1  
 T38  Wills Smith             Savannah, GA            34-36--70 -1  
 T38  Lanto Griffin           Blacksburg, VA          34-36--70 -1  
 T38  Tanner Ervin            Mt. Pleasant, SC        33-37--70 -1  
 T38  Derek Chang             Augusta, GA             31-39--70 -1  
 T38  Bubba Dickerson         Fernandina Beach, FL    34-36--70 -1  
 T38  Mitch Bagley            Midlothian, VA          34-36--70 -1  
 T38  Andrew Gai              Westport, CT            33-37--70 -1  
 T38  Anthony Aloi            Greenville, SC          33-37--70 -1  
 T38  Ryan Terdik             Ontario, Canada         34-36--70 -1  
 T38  Thomas Bass             Holly Springs, NC       34-36--70 -1  
 T38  Will Golden             Auburn, AL              35-35--70 -1  
 T38  Matt Schall             Williamsport, PA        33-37--70 -1  
 T38  Matthew Ryan            Santa Clarita, CA       34-36--70 -1  
 T38  Ricky McDonald          Shoreline, WA           34-36--70 -1  
 T59  T.J. Howe               Osceola, PA             35-36--71 E   
 T59  Jonathan Fricke         Covington, GA           37-34--71 E   
 T59  Michael Wade            Floyd, VA               35-36--71 E   
 T59  Jacob Burger            Orangeburg, SC          35-36--71 E   
 T59  Travis Stewart          Jamestown, NC           37-34--71 E   
 T59  Scott Glaze             Charleston, SC          35-36--71 E   
 T59  Reed Darsie             Chapel Hill, NC         35-36--71 E   
 T59  Brad Helton             Knoxville, TN           36-35--71 E   
 T59  Jarred Bossio           Olympia, WA             35-36--71 E   
 T59  Anthony DeGol           Hollidaysburg, PA       33-38--71 E   
 T59  Jordan Sease            Lexington, SC           34-37--71 E   
 T70  Garland Green           Tazewell, VA            34-38--72 +1  
 T70  Sam Beach               Glen Allen, VA          34-38--72 +1  
 T70  Mikel Martinson         Lubbock, TX             35-37--72 +1  
 T70  Joey McLister           Charlotte, NC           37-35--72 +1  
 T70  Brad Sill               Spartanburg, SC         34-38--72 +1  
 T70  Adam Webb               Ridgeway, VA            33-39--72 +1  
 T70  Brent Delahoussaye      Greenville, SC          34-38--72 +1  
 T70  Ricky Casko             Cartersville, GA        35-37--72 +1  
 T70  Alex Boyd               Greensboro, GA          35-37--72 +1  
 T70  Chad Chancey            Blackshear, GA          36-36--72 +1  
 T70  Andrew Mason            Wynnewood, PA           37-35--72 +1  
 T70  Brandon Coggins         Gaffney, SC             36-36--72 +1  
 T70  Jake Scott              Strongsville, OH        36-36--72 +1  
 T83  Fielding Brewbaker      Salem, VA               36-37--73 +2  
 T83  Mitchell Krywulycz      Australia               38-35--73 +2  
 T83  Chris Gallagher         Charlotte, NC           35-38--73 +2  
 T83  Bryan Bigley            Schenectady, NY         35-38--73 +2  
 T83  Tommy McDonagh          Charlotte, NC           35-38--73 +2  
 T83  Rick Morton             Jacksonville, NC        34-39--73 +2  
 T83  Crawford Reeves         Greer, SC               36-37--73 +2  
 T83  Matt Short              Hudson, NC              35-38--73 +2  
 T83  Peter Hong              West Chester, OH        35-38--73 +2  
 T83  Marc Cohen              Charlotte, NC           37-36--73 +2  
 T83  Justin Clement          Lexington, NC           37-36--73 +2  
 T83  Adam Stephenson         Greenville, NC          37-36--73 +2  
 T83  Josh Apple              Leesburg, VA            39-34--73 +2  
 T83  Jesse Hutchins          Kirkersville, OH        35-38--73 +2  
 T83  Christian Brand         South Charleston, WV    37-36--73 +2  
 T83  Kevin O'Connell         Cary, NC                35-38--73 +2  
 T83  Charlie Gross           Raleigh, NC             36-37--73 +2  
 T83  Craig Morrow            Myrtle Beach, SC        35-38--73 +2  
 T83  Brian Hughes            Raleigh, NC             36-37--73 +2  
 T102 Ryan Sullivan           Winston-Salem, NC       36-38--74 +3  
 T102 Jacob Eggers            Boone, NC               34-40--74 +3  
 T102 Bryan Pierce            Charlotte, NC           37-37--74 +3  
 T102 Zachary Harris          East Bend, NC           35-39--74 +3  
 T102 Jake Johnson            Cameron Park, CA        36-38--74 +3  
 T102 Paul Ferrier            Edinburgh, Scotland     36-38--74 +3  
 T102 Vaita Guillaume         Papeete, Tahiti         35-39--74 +3  
 T102 Colin Biles             Columbus, OH            35-39--74 +3  
 T102 Daniel Zimmerman        Middleton, WI           37-37--74 +3  
 T102 Cameron Fields          Bowling Green, KY       39-35--74 +3  
 T112 Eric Shriver            Durham, NC              37-38--75 +4  
 T112 Derrick Meier           Chilton, WI             37-38--75 +4  
 T112 Zach Lee                Ponte Vedra Beach, FL   36-39--75 +4  
 T112 Kevan Brown             High Point, NC          35-40--75 +4  
 T112 Mark Kriston            Clemmons, NC            37-38--75 +4  
 T112 Brian Fister            Lexington, KY           34-41--75 +4  
 T112 Lee Heaton              Surrey, England         34-41--75 +4  
 T112 Nikolai Kovalevskiy     Okatie, SC              38-37--75 +4  
 T112 Matthew Jones           Louisville, KY          34-41--75 +4  
 T112 Travis Meyer            River Falls, WI         37-38--75 +4  
 T122 Derek Forese            Grove City, PA          36-40--76 +5  
 T122 John Hendrickson        Windermere, FL          36-40--76 +5  
 T122 Tadd Fujikawa           Honolulu, HI            37-39--76 +5  
 T122 Gregg LaVoie            Charlotte, NC           40-36--76 +5  
 T122 Kyle Wittenbach         Lowell, MI              38-38--76 +5  
 T122 Jason Hnat              Tega Cay, SC            39-37--76 +5  
 T128 Rex Riley               Wrightsville Beach, NC  39-38--77 +6  
 T128 Justin Howard           Toledo, OH              37-40--77 +6  
 T128 Stephen Harrison        Wilson, NC              37-40--77 +6  
 T128 Griffith Hunter         Radford, VA             36-41--77 +6  
 T128 Patrick Wilson          Greenwood, SC           37-40--77 +6  
 133  John Gerber             Potomac, MD             37-41--78 +7  
 T134 Kevin Vanden Heuvel     Destin, FL              38-41--79 +8  
 T134 Jones Brown             Columbia, SC            41-38--79 +8  
 T134 Eddie Heiner            Raleigh, NC             41-38--79 +8  
 137  Thomas Joiner           Tallahassee, FL         38-42--80 +9  
 T138 Jerome Ponniah          London, England         41-40--81 +10 
 T138 Joe Covington           Reston, VA              40-41--81 +10 
 140  Jeffrey (a) Wise        Charlotte, NC           39-43--82 +11 
 141  Damian Telles           The Dalles, OR          43-40--83 +12 
 142  Christopher Seidman     Bloomington, MN         42-43--85 +14 
 DQ   Brett Laurence Monaghan Australia                              

 

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