Monday, May 02, 2011

Bigley Goes From Mowing Fairways To The PGA Tour

Bryan Bigley mows fairways, rakes bunker and cuts greens at Raintree Country Club while keeping his golf game sharp enough to think about what could be.

The course maintenance worker gets his big chance this week after winning the final spot in the field for the Wells Fargo Championship by capturing a sudden-death playoff Monday in the qualifying event at Carolina Golf Club.

Bigley was one of four players to shoot 4-under par 66 and his birdie-birdie performance in sudden-death earned him the final spot, keeping North Carolina golf coach John Inman out of the tournament.

Kyle Thompson (64), Willie Wood (65) and Lanto Griffin (65) also earned spots in the field at Quail Hollow this week.

“You need to catch a break and this is a break. Who knows where it can lead?” Bigley said Monday night.

A former college golfer at Siena, Bigley has worked for three years at Raintree. His father is a course superintendent in Albany, N.Y., and Bigley has been taking care of golf courses since he was 14. He plays some mini-tour events when he can but Monday was only his third competitive event of the year.

He played with long-time PGA Tour players Eric Axley and Ted Purdy during the qualifier.

“I looked at their games compared to mine and I could see that they’re similar,” Bigley said.

Charlotteans Corey Nagy and Kevin Silva shot 67 to miss qualifying by one stroke while Jeff Curl, another local, shot 68.