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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, June 14, 2024

Teeing Off: I told you so

I’m really not into the whole “I told you so" thing ... Oh, who are we kidding? I think I’ve been waiting for this moment more than Wesley Bryan has.

On Sunday, PGA Tour rookie (and recurring mention in most of my semester’s columns) Bryan won his first PGA Tour event of his career, the RBC Heritage. Bryan is no stranger to victory, winning three times last year on the Tour, which is one level below the PGA Tour (analogous to the EFL Championship in England, AHL hockey or Triple-A baseball).

In the first event after the Masters, Bryan's victory guaranteed him an invitation to next year’s Masters. I have no doubt that coming so close, but just short, of an invitation this year motivated Wes and really lit the fire inside of him.

After winning this time around, Bryan was asked by the press if he was nervous. He smiled and laughed, saying that he "threw up a little in [his] mouth" on hole 17 but that otherwise, he was okay.

Bryan has an interesting story. The 27-year-old is certainly a young player, but in today’s game, 27 is comparable to 37 in the early 2000s. With young players like Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy winning several events before age 25, and with Jordan and Rory winning multiple majors before 25, a 27-year-old rookie is really an old man.

Bryan, who attended the University of South Carolina, was an all-conference talent and a highly touted player. He spent several years on the mini-tours and even played on the Golf Channel’s "Big Break" (2003–2015) reality golf series (yes, that’s a thing, and it’s amazing).

Wes and his older brother George (who has caddied for him in the past but now plays on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica) stumbled upon a gold mine when their trick shots went viral. The two formed the “Bryan Bros Golf” YouTube channel and began to rake it in via ad revenue. The two developed quite the fun brand and I encourage every one of my readers (that’s right, all three of you and my dad), to look them up and enjoy some impressive and creative trick golf shots.

The trick-shot artist then used this money to fund his travels as he played the lower tours. In fall 2015, Bryan earned his Tour card through Q-School (a series of qualifying tournaments) for the 2016 season. Wes then quickly won his first tournament, the Chitimacha Louisiana Open and jumped to the lead in the money list. He continued his great play, winning twice more that season and earning an immediate promotion to the PGA Tour just in time for the last event of the regular season last August.

Bryan then struggled early in his PGA Tour career during fall and winter 2016, the wrap-around portion of the season. At one point in time, Bryan had been cut on Friday or Saturday in four consecutive tournaments. However, he turned his game around and caught fire in February and March with three top 10 finishes.

Bryan is surely set for a wonderful career and I can’t wait to see where he goes. Be sure to keep an eye out for his trademark bright pink pants and his soft southern accent.