This is a redemption story, and an unlikely one. And I won’t do it justice, so please bear with me. Brendon Todd (UGA, ‘07) won the PGA Tour Bermuda Championship Sunday. Todd started the final round 2 shots off the lead after a very solid first 3 days. His round Sunday was something altogether special.
He pars the first, then reels off SEVEN straight birdies to gain a 5 shot lead heading to the ninth. He burned the cup edge on 9 and settled for par, then proceeds to birdie 10 and 11 and an insurmountable lead. The Pittsburgh native signed for a career-best 62, a 4 shot victory, and his first trip to the winner’s circle since 2014.
Brendon Todd was seemingly yet another of UGA Golf Coach Chris Haack’s stars making it to the Tour. After a successful mini-Tour career, he had some very solid years before his breakthrough win at the 2014 Byron Nelson. Shortly thereafter he climbed into the top 50 in the world rankings (which gets you into every imaginable tournament).
In the 2015 FedEx Cup playoffs, he sprayed a shot right of right and fell out of contention. That began a spiral downward that no one foresaw, and no one can watch without a queasy stomach. The next season Todd missed the cut in 25 of 29 tournaments, 15 in a row at one point. 2017 and 2018 were no better, with Todd falling off the golf radar. Todd developed a rare case of the full-swing yips... he had mental and swing issues that caused horrendous slices, or over-compensated and missed greens left. Most golfers understand putting yips - where you just freeze over a putt and can’t make a consistent swing. Brendon Todd simply could not play golf tee-to-green. Golf analyst Brandel Chamblee called this case “apocalyptic”, much worse than an injury. It was so bad, he was barely talked out of giving up the game by family and close friends. The history of professional golf is littered with stories like this... Hunter Mahan, Ian Baker-Finch, David Duval, and most never recover.
Earlier this year, Todd paired up with a new golf coach, revamped his swing to a classic, vintage style (much more open at the top), and re-dedicated himself to winning. After some ho-hum results in the early part of this 2019-20 wrap-around season, all the talent came to the fore and Todd threw darts all day en route to his 2nd PGA Tour victory, 300 valuable FedEx Cup points, and more money than he had made in his previous 60 (sixty) tournaments. Good on you, Brendon, and for your perseverance you get DGD status.
If you want to read more on Todd’s journey, check out PGATour.com, or you can go to Golf Digest, or even do an internet search on your own. There’s an interview from August where Todd was only just thinking he could compete again. I promise, his story is worth reading.
#RingTheBell, #DawgsOnTop, and as always...
We now return you to your annual and regularly scheduled gloating over booger-eating Gators.