It was ambitious and maybe even a little brash for a brand new pro playing in only his second Korn Ferry Tour event.
Early in the week Jacob Bridgeman set a goal for himself.
He didn’t predict the score he would shoot or the place he would finish in the field at the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD-Synnex.
“I want to have a chance to win on Sunday,” the Clemson grad said in an interview.
By Sunday afternoon his play in the first three rounds gave him that chance and the large number of Bridgeman and Clemson fans following him around the course got to see the reason many believe the BMW is just the start for a player destin to play the PGA Tour.
“This is a home field event for me. I had a lot of people out here supporting me this week,” he said.
At the beginning of the final round. Robbie Shelton had a 5-shot lead over Ben Griffin and Augusto Nunez.
There were a few more seasoned Korn-Ferry professionals between Griffin, Nunez and Bridgeman who shot a 6-under par 65 at Thornblade to have a 54 hole total of `13-under par, 9-shots behind Shelton.
Bridgeman got into contention with a 3-under par 68 at Thornblade and a 4-under par 68 at Carolina.
For a time it looked like the second round could have been his last round.
With the cut projected at 4-under par, Bridgeman made the turn at 6-under par, but three bogeys on the back nine dropped him below the cut line.
He rallied for two birdies to move to 5-under par and was above the cut line. He added an eagle on his final hole to take some momentum into the weekend rounds at Thornblade.
The Chapman High School grad was on the edge of being in contention going to a course where he once set a junior tournament scoring record.
Bridgeman won The Blade Junior setting the tournament record in 2017.
His first round 6-under par 65 included a run of birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie on the back 9.
On Saturday in the third round he made the turn at 1-under par and came close to matching his junior record on the back.
This time Bridgeman reeled off 5-birdies in a row from holes 12-16 to finish at 6-under par for the day.
His 13-under par total put him right where he wanted to be.
“I want to have a chance to win on Sunday,”
In the final round Shelton was unable to add to his lead, while Bridgeman started hot.
He birdied three of his first four holes and carded a 4-under par 31 on his first nine.
On the back nine, he wasn’t able to duplicate his record setting performance, but got to 20-under par by sinking a long birdie putt on the difficult par-3 17th hole..
A bogey on his final hole finished his day at 19-under par.
When Bridgeman signed his scorecard, he had not caught Shelton, but he left the course in second place.
“I expected to be in contention and I fell a little bit short,” he said. “I expected a great week and I produced,” he said.
Shelton went on to win the tournament in a two hole playoff with Ben Griffin.
Ryan McCormick and Nunez both finished at 20-uinder par for third place pushing Bridgeman down into a tie for fifth place.
The exemption he earned by his second place finish on the PGA Tour University standings means he will play in all the remaining Korn-Ferry events.
He has seven more chances to move into “The 25” by the end of the year and earn a promotion to the PGA Tour.
“I’m just trying to put up some good finishes for my next seven events and hopefully sneak into the playoffs,” he said in a post round interview.
Bridgeman will have to earn twice as much in half the time as many of those already in “The 25”.
“I have a short little season, but I think I can sneak up there,” he said.
He does have a short season to play his way onto the PGA Tour, but after this weekend at Thornblade, Jacob Bridgeman is not going to sneak up on anyone.
Categories: PGA Tour