SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -The Web.com Tour is returning to Savannah this week with the Savannah Golf Championship at The Landings Deer Creek course.
Tournament play doesn’t begin until Thursday, but there was some big pressure golf out on Skidaway Island on Monday.
One of the hardest ways to make a living in sports is as a professional golfer who is not exempt on a professional tour, because then, you find yourself showing up at places like The Landings for a tournament before the tournament - just for a chance to play come Thursday.
The first day of tournament week was the most important day of the week for some players.
“Monday is the biggest day of the week. You’re playing for a chance to play in a Web.com event, and a lot of these guys know that’s just one step away from the Tour, and that’s where they want to get,” said Jacob Lehman, who caddied for Christopher Drysdale in SGC on Monday.
While exempt members of the Web.com Tour spend Monday getting settled into town, players who are not exempt try to get into the field through qualifying events where a couple hundred players compete for a handful of spots.
Finish in the Top 6 at one of two Landings courses Monday and take your chances starting Thursday. Any worse than that and take the week off.
“Once you get into the tournament, that’s the most normal part about it. Monday qualifiers are such a crap shoot. You pretty much have to play a flawless round one day to get in."
Savannah native Tommy Schaff usually has two chances at the one shot to get into big events. If he doesn’t qualify himself, he can caddie for Savannah’s Tim O’Neal, who also plays in qualifiers.
“Over the years, quite a few times, Tim has gotten in and I’ve caddied for him,” Schaff said. "Maybe one of these times, it will be my turn. We’ll see. I’m always rooting him on and he’s always rooting me on. We would love to make it the same time and play a practice round together. It’s golf. It’s hard.
And harder on Monday than on the back 9 Sunday.
"It’s big, money wise. They can have a big pay week this week as well. It’s just all about playing well to start off the week on Monday.
Tommy Schaff is still on the course. He had a late tee time. His plan B might not be in place Monday, as Tim O’Neal shot 4-under par and is unlikely to qualify.