Coody wins PCCC

On the final hole at Highland Springs Country Club on a sweaty summer Sunday in the Midwest, Pierceson Coody rolled in one final great putt in a week full of them, took his hat off and let his hair’s flow breath for a minute. He breathed too, finally. His second win of the season had been confirmed.

And, more likely than not, he’ll be heading to the PGA TOUR for the first time.

Coody, who captured the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper on Sunday by two shots, didn’t think that this was going to be the week for him to break out of a mid-season slump. But such is golf. You take the opportunities when they come, and when things go in your favor, it’s all good, baby.

“I was kind of in a little bit of a funk and it’s crazy that one week in golf can change everything and change your mindset,” Coody said. “I mean, it’s so cliché, but it’s hard to put into words because it still doesn’t feel real.

“It’s probably not going to feel real for a few days.”

Coody, who arrived in Missouri having missed four of six cuts on the Korn Ferry Tour, fractured his left hand last fall and had surgery to remove a bone during the offseason. A swing adjustment changed the way his club was sitting at the top; he was coming down on the ball with a more open face. Coody admitted he had some good weeks with this new tweak (he won The Panama Championship earlier this year) but otherwise things had been inconsistent. He finally committed to keeping the face square at the top – despite it feeling shut to him.

Highland Springs Country Club was also not necessarily the venue where Coody thought things would turn around for him. He missed the cut here a year ago and thought “a lot” of tee shots that were “just a little uncomfortable.”

“I just kind of played to my strengths,” Coody said. “I knew I was putting well, and I think I had a pretty high (greens in regulation number) this week, so I just kind of trusted the putter.”

Coody shot a final-round 67 to finish at 25 under for the week. He topped a foursome of players at 23 under including Ben Silverman, who shot a

tournament-best 10-under 62 on Sunday and crossed the points threshold to secure 2024 PGA TOUR membership as a result.

In that foursome tied for second was Coody’s twin brother Parker. He believes this is the first time that they have ever gone 1-2 at any tournament, ever, and the duo got to do it front of their parents Kyle and Debbie.

“This is really cool for both of us. Really cool that our parents got to come out and watch it as well,” Coody said.

The winning Coody (younger by 37 minutes) went out in 3-under 33 after notching birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 before making the turn. He added circles on the scorecard on Nos. 11 and 15 before cruising in with three straight pars and the victory.

Coody, who converted the 54-hole lead, had one other top-10 finish this season aside from his win – a tie for eighth at the LECOM Suncoast Classic – before his triumph at Highland Springs.

This was Coody’s third Korn Ferry Tour victory. He won last year’s Live and Work in Maine Open in just his third Korn Ferry Tour start after finishing atop the 2022 PGA TOUR University Ranking.

Coody moves to fourth on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List, on the verge of cementing his first TOUR card via the top 30 on the season-long standings.

“I’ve never been a PGA TOUR member, so it hasn’t sunk in yet. I was fortunate to play seven events (on TOUR) this season and just see what it’s like, and obviously it’s incredible,” Coody said. “It’s the dream. I’ve said for a long time coming out of college that my goal is to play on the Korn Ferry Tour and get through here to the PGA TOUR. I was close last summer. Just obviously extremely happy to be going in the right direction.”

That PGA TOUR direction is something awfully familiar to the Coody family. It’s been well documented, of course, with Coody’s grandfather Charles winning the Masters in 1971. Pierceson Coody said his grandfather will be the first person he’ll call Sunday night after his big win.

“He, I guess, gave golf to our family,” Coody said. “My dad played professionally and now Parker and I are pursuing professionally.

“To tell my grandad that I’m going to be on the PGA TOUR, it’s been the goal my whole life. Yeah, it’s just crazy.”

The Korn Ferry Tour heads to the NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank next week, with the tournament streamed live exclusively by Barstool Sports.

Glendale HS athlete caddying on Championship Sunday

A couple of years ago, Hudson Feuerbacher snagged an autograph from one of the Korn Ferry Tour players who was in town for the area’s largest sporting event.

And so two weeks ago, he decided to message James Nicholas on a social media account and asked if he needed a caddy.

Turned out, Feuerbacher – who will be a sophomore at Glendale High School this fall – not only helped Nicholas “Monday qualify” earlier this week but did one better.

The two are a tandem on Championship Sunday of the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper after Nicholas parred No. 18 when play resumed Saturday morning, ensuring he made the cut at Highland Springs Country Club.

Feuerbacher, of course, was all smiles. Braces and all. Just days ago, Nicholas advanced to a  Tuesday playoff out of the Monday qualifier and landed right here in the thick of it all.

“I didn’t know if I’d get a response,” Feuerbacher said of messaging the New York native. “A buddy of mine said, ‘You should DM James Nicholas and see if he needs caddy for the Monday Q. I said, ‘All right,” and so I did. And I got a response pretty quick.”

Feuerbacher has been playing golf for seven years now. In fact, his dad took a photo of him in 2011 of him standing by a flag stick on this very course.

“It was just a cool experience walking around and figuring out how they hit it,” Feuerbacher said. “And then  just talking to him through a game plan. I’m excited to do that for two more days.”

“If (Nicholas) asks a questions,” Feuerbacher said, “I’ll give him my opinion. Sometimes he takes it, sometimes he doesn’t.”

His dad, Brad is a member of Hickory Hills Country Club, and his grandmother, Rita Lowther, is a member of Highland Springs Country Club.

They were on hand as Nicholas had to earn a par to make the cut – a challenging situation considering play was halted late Friday on account of darkness. Nicholas’ tee shot found the fringe on the left side near the cart path, but he ultimately delivered a strong approach before sinking about a 20-foot putt.

“You get a lot of kids who DM you and ask if they can be your caddy. Sometimes you’re hesitant because you don’t know what to expect,” Nicholas said. “Right from the first tee at Millwood (Golf & Racquet Club), we were on 10, he was spot on. He wasn’t overbearing and wasn’t trying to ask me too many questions. He was as professional as my professional caddies are.

“And he knows way more about golf than I did (at that age),” Nicholas said. “His maturity level with the game of golf is extremely, extremely high. I asked him a couple of times, ‘Should I punch out or should I go for the miracle shot?’ He’s always like, ‘Punch out. Take your medicine. Let’s get up and down.’ At that age, I was always sending it through the trees and making doubles and triples.”

Play resumes this morning, with the leaders expected to begin on the No. 1 tee box at about 11 AM. The tournament typically ends at about 4 PM, with awards ceremonies shortly thereafter on the No. 18 green.