Monday, February 21, 2011

Nagy Played Through Pain To Get First Victory

  For Corey Nagy, the former Charlotte 49ers All-American, 2011 could hardly have begun better.

  Nagy won his first pro event Saturday, beating two-time Walker Cup player Brian Harman in a a sudden-death playoff to win the Smithwick Shootout in the eGolf Professional Tour season-opener at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

   Financially, it was worth more than $31,000 to Nagy but its true value may be in how it reinforced his self-confidence. Disappointed after not advancing through the second round of PGA Tour qualifying school last fall, Nagy adjusted his focus, starting with a busy eGolf tour schedule that will lead into a series of Monday qualifiers on the Nationwide Tour later this spring.

   In winning at Hilton Head, Nagy played through a hand injury he suffered during the third round and left him uncertain if he could play the final round despite holding the lead. Nagy said he jammed a wedge into the turf on Friday and felt pain in his right hand.

   The pain persisted and it led to cautious swings early in the final round.

   "On the fifth hole in the final round, I told myself that pain is only for the moment. What happens in this tournament will last forever," Nagy said.

  He decided to live with the pain and make his normal, aggressive swing.

   "The win means even more because I wasn't 100 percent and I figured out a way to get it done," Nagy said. "I thought about Tiger winning the U.S. Open on a broken leg. I figured if he could win the Open with something like that, I could win here."

   The victory convinced Nagy to make the two-week trip to Morocco next month to play a pair of eGolf events there, getting a taste of international travel and competition in the process. When the Nationwide Tour swings closer to Charlotte in late March, Nagy will start trying to Monday qualify with the goal of earning status on the tour.