Northeast Ohio Golf contributor Derek Duda is working as professional caddie and greens reader for Jacob Scott this week in La Quinta, CA at the Finals of the 2014 PGA Tour Q-School. Derek will provide daily updates on his man plus Northeast Ohio natives Ryan Armour and Justin Lower as they make their way through six rounds of qualifying.
Tuesday December 10th: Two Days Before Round 1
We arrived to PGA West early yesterday and we were greeted by Web.com Tour staffers who directed us to a back banquet room. Jake had to complete some paperwork and a website data sheet to help establish his bio. He also had some publicity photos taken as well.
From there we headed to the range. It’s tough to get loose on a 37 degree morning in the frigid California desert. I found it interesting that contestants can select their own brand of balls to practice with on the range.
Jake hit a few balls, chipped and putted for a bit and we decided to pay a visit to the Equipment Trailers. We stopped in to see the good people at Odyssey and Titleist. The Odyssey rep took Jake’s putter specs to build him a new 2 ball pro putter. He’s putted with the same putter for nearly 5 years but will try this new one out when it arrives in a few weeks.
Titleist built a couple of new wedges for Jake and allowed us to try out a few exotic shafts as well. After upgrading both 3 wood and hybrid shafts and testing them out on the range, we decided to attack the back 9 of the acclaimed Pete Dye Stadium Course first. It’s an interesting and challenging layout with all kinds of danger lurking around every corner. I’m glad we’ll have a couple of looks at it before Thursday.
We ended up playing the full 18 on Stadium and the front 9 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Jake was able to knock some rust off after not being able to play the last 3 days. We accomplished our goal of familiarizing ourselves with lines off the tee and the green complexes.
The next two days will be dedicated to going further in depth on possible hole locations and getting Jake back into grind it out scoring mentality he exhibited in the first 2 stages of qualifying.
We searched for fellow NEOHioans Justin Lower and Ryan Armour, but we unfortunately could not locate them today. However I am sure they were busy preparing as well…