Tuesday, May 17, 2011

UNC's Inman Eyeing Champions Tour

After 13 seasons as the men’s golf coach at North Carolina, John Inman is going back to work on his own game.

Inman resigned his coaching duties recently and with his 50th birthday less than two years away, the former PGA Tour player is planning to give seniors golf a try. Inman, who won twice on tour in his 12-year career, nearly qualified for the Wells Fargo Championship two weeks ago, losing the final spot in a playoff.

“My whole life has been around professional golf and I love to compete and play at a high level,” Inman said. “You don’t forget how to play and how to compete. But if I’m going to have an opportunity at the Champions Tour, I need to be ready.”

Inman became the first man to win the ACC golf championship as both a player (1982) and a coach (2006). In his tenure with the Tar Heels, Inman led his team to 16 tournament titles and five top-20 end of the year rankings.

He’s staying connected to the North Carolina program for six months, helping with the construction of a new clubhouse at Finley Golf Course while the school searches for his successor. Leaving North Carolina, Inman said, is bittersweet.

“I feel a little bit of everything,” Inman said. “Anything you’ve done for a long time and put your heart and soul into, when you leave there are a lot of different feelings. I enjoyed working with the guys and seeing them reach the next level.

“But it’s a demanding job and it takes a lot of work, effort and some luck. It’s kind of like playing professional golf. All the things have to go right for you.”