Saturday, January 14, 2012

Just a Tadd Older

Someone turned 21 last Sunday.

Tadd Fujikawa at the 2012 Sony Open

It seems like just yesterday that Tadd Fujikawa became the youngest player ever to qualify for the U.S. Open. (That was 2006 and he was a 15-year-old amateur.) Lately he's been plying his trade -- none too successfully, I'm afraid -- on the Hooters Tour and the eGolf Professional Tour, which used to be called the TarHeel Tour and is HQ'ed in Charlotte NC, just a couple of hours south of me. He's fought some back problems. He tried to go through Q-School but didn't make it past 2nd stage. And he played the Monday qualifier for the Sony but missed the playoff by one stroke.

It hasn't been a particularly good few months.

Then Brian Davis withdrew and Tadd got the last sponsor's exemption into the event at 10:30am Tuesday morning. He looks to be making the best of it -- he's 5-under, T17 and just 5 behind leader Matt Every after two rounds.

The men's game certainly isn't as kind to young prodigies as the ladies' game. No matter what problems may befall the girls, whether it's a Cristie Kerr or a Michelle Wie, they seem to survive and eventually thrive. People may worry about Lexi Thompson, but history seems to indicate that she'll do just fine. Maybe the women just take better care of each other, I don't know. But young PGA Tour pros almost always seem destined to struggle. Even Ryo Ishikawa seems to be feeling the strain of expectation -- he missed the cut.

Here's hoping that this week becomes a new jumping-off point for Tadd Fujikawa. This Taddpole has spent long enough as a frog -- it's time for him to become a prince. Our game could certainly use another great story like him.

I got some of my info from this Golfweek article.

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