Todd finds success on PGA Tour
Brendon Todd, a Peters Township native, won his first PGA event in May at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Brendon Todd hits from a trap on the 13th hole during the first round of the Greenbrier Classic golf tournament at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., Thursday, July 3, 2014 (AP Photo/Chris Tilley)
Things have really gone well on the PGA tour for Peters Township native Brendon Todd. The seven-year pro won his first PGA event in May at the HP Byron Nelson Championship in Texas and followed that with a tie for 5th at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and a tie for eighth at the Memorial.
And after the second round of the Greenbrier Classic in White Sulfur Springs, W.Va., Todd sat at 2-under-par for the tournament and in good shape to make the cut.
Not bad for a player whose game was cultivated, at least in the early stages, at Rolling Hills Country Club, where Todd played until moving to North Carolina at age 11.
The teachers at McMurray Elementary School still remain fans.
Todd earned a scholarship at the University of Georgia after winning the Class AAAA individual championship three times in four years at Green Hope High School in Cary, N.C.
At Georgia, he was part of the Bulldogs national championship team in 2005 and was a four-time All-American.
That success followed his professional career. He turned pro in 2008, joining the Nationwide Tour, won the Utah Championship and finished 19th on the money list.
He made history in 2009 Athens Regional Foundation Classic when he aced the same hole – the 157-yard 17th – twice in the same tournament. He did it in the first round with a 7-iron and the second with an 8-iron.
In Todd’s first major championship – last month’s U.S. Open at historic Pinehurst No. 2 – he finished in a tie for 17th place two weeks ago. Todd’s precise short game actually got him into second place through two rounds after he shot 69-67 for a 4-under 136. He trailed only Martin Kaymer, who shot the best two opening rounds in a major championship going 65-65 for a 10-under total.
“It’s nice to come in to my first major playing the best golf of my life,” Todd said.
“A lot of guys play their first major in college or maybe their first couple years on tour. I wasn’t fortunate enough to qualify for them back then. Now, I actually qualified by being in the top 60 in the world, so I think that means I was playing really good golf.”
Not only that but Todd delivered three rounds in the 60s at the U.S. Open, Kaymer and Keegan Bradley were the only other players in the 156-man field to do so.
So what did the 28-year-old learn from his first major championship experience?
“If anything, the fact that I had a chance to get in there and finish top five and maybe get a win is a little disappointing now, but I think it bodes well for the next two majors this year,” Todd said. “I understand what to expect, and if I can go out there and play well, if I can avoid that one bad round, I might be in it.”
That bad round came in the final group with Kaymer during NBC’s third-round coverage. Todd struggled to a 9-over 79 that day. A tough disappointment for a young player to take while going for his first major.
“I learned that for me, I’ve got to keep my warmup light; I’ve got to stay really relaxed before the round,” Todd said. “I feel like I was a little bit too intense and that I got a little bit too tired there after the start.”
He warmed up for an hour before his round and in retrospect he believes he should have only warmed up for 45 minutes. He just felt he hit too many shots before going off the first tee.
Still, for a young player who has never seen a demanding U.S. Open setup before, this performance was a good start for what Todd hopes to be a long career of playing in the majors.
“I think it speaks volumes about my game,” Todd said. “I think it just shows that if I have my ‘A’ game in a major championship I can be right there.”