San Diego (AP) Eric Cole personally witnessed golf at its finest.
He saw his father Bobby play on the PGA Tour and fight for the major championship. Even if the ball is not always in the air. He was out with his mother Laura. She has made the leaderboard during her long LPGA tour career.
Now is the time to show that the call can be made in the sport’s brightest spotlight.
The 33-year-old mini-tour veteran will compete in his first major championship in Torrey Pines this week after competing in the US Open.
“I hope I play well. I’m happy with my game at the moment, “said Cole. “I have a high opinion of my game and I am excited to see where the best golfers in the world are going.”
Golf was part of Cole’s life as the big rough at Torrey Pines during US Open week.
Bobby Cole became the youngest player to win the British Amateur Championship in 1966 at the age of 18 and continued his stable PGA Tour career. He won the Buick Open in 1977, finished third in the 1974 PGA Championship and the 1975 Open Championship, and achieved two other top 15 finishes in the majors.
Bobby also won eight Sunshine tours in his native South Africa.
Eric was young at the height of his father’s career but had the opportunity to travel on an LPGA tour with his mother.
Laura Baugh’s father Hale competed in the 1948 Olympics as a pentathlon and was a good amateur golfer before becoming a lawyer. Following in the footsteps of his father’s golf shoes, Laura began a career similar to Eric’s father, becoming the youngest player to win the United States Amateur Championship in 1971 at the age of 16.
She was an LPGA rookie in her 25-year career in 1973, scoring 71 top 10 finishes (10 runners-up) and garnering support including Ultra Bright toothpaste.
Living out and about with her mother gave Cole a glimpse into life on the tour, of the skills required to overcome the mental setbacks of playing golf and make a living. It was.
“We see the strengths and weaknesses of professional golf,” said Laura, an education expert at Sawgrass Country Club in Pontevedra Beach, Florida. “Understand how unsuccessful and successful you have been, away from your family, and how much you want it. You do this sooner than if your parents weren’t playing golf. You will see that success comes from hard work and persistence. “
Cole didn’t have a swing trainer – at least one outside of the family.
His father refines his swing, works on the mechanics and takes care of many technical aspects. His mother supports the mental aspects and game management.
Both showed him the rope he had already climbed.
“His father had a good mental attitude, too,” said Laura. “I firmly believe that you are pedaling. I never managed to let go of it. I keep pedaling and stay focused. He learned it. “
He definitely has.
As a child, Cole played a lot of sports until he realized that his height (5 feet – 9, 155 pounds) was better suited for golf than basketball or soccer. After playing at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, he turned pro in 2009, won 36 minor league golf tours and made eight starts on what was then the Web.com tour in 2017. ..
Cole made 26 starts during the 2020-21 Korn / Ferry Tour season, finishing 106th with sales of over $ 78,000. He missed a cut in seven of the eight Korn / Ferry events heading towards US Open qualification, but last week he shot 66-68 at the Dallas Athletic Club to win a spot in the first major.
Next up is a course lined with roughs that swallows golf balls and plays against the best players in the world for 10 consecutive weeks.
It’s also the course on which Laura of Southern California won the Junior World Championship in the women’s 13-14 category in 1969.
“That was my dream,” said Cole. “I’ve always wanted to play golf on the biggest stage. That is certainly the biggest stage. “
With the help of his parents, Cole is preparing for this moment for the rest of his life.
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