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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Anyone Wonder What Tadd Fujikawa's Been Up To?

Now that the Q School dust has settled, I find it interesting to take a look around the mini tour's and see what's going on with all of the people who didn't have the success they had hoped for in the earlier stages of Q School.  The two mini tour's I follow with the most frequency are the EGolf Professional Tour and the NGA Hooters Tour.  Starting in the beginning of November, the Hooters Tour Winter Series and Carolina Winter Series each ramped up.  The buy ins for these tournaments are generally the same or a little less than the regular season mini tour's, so it's a good way to get in some competitive golf and hopefully make a little money to replenish the coffers for the pros living the not so glamorous lifestyle.

I took a good look at how the different winter tour's were taking shape and noticed a name familiar to most golf fans.  Tadd Fujikawa.  Who wasn't pulling for Fujikawa as he made back to back cuts in the Sony Open as a teenager.  Last I had heard, he was an aspiring member of Davis Love and Jonathan Byrd's Sea Island Mafia living on the Georgia coast and playing on the Egolf and Hooters Tours.  About a year and a half ago, I talked to someone who played in a couple of EGolf Tournament rounds with Fujikawa and swore up and down that his mechanics were impeccable and he would produce sooner rather than later.  Ironically, the player that told me that just finished last season inside the top 60 on the Nationwide Tour money list while Fujikawa is playing on the Carolina Winter Tour, but I digress. 

So far, Fujikawa has played in 3 of the first 4 Carolina Winter Tour events and currently sits 4th on the Money List.  He has a T3, a 4 and a T5 finish in his 3 starts.  While these tournament fields are roughly the professional golf equivalent of Rookie League pro baseball or Division III college football; don't count it out entirely.  Last year two players with past Nationwide and PGA Tour experience used the Carolina Winter Tour as a springboard to solid Nationwide Tour years.
  • Matt Hendrix won twice on the Carolina Winter Tour last winter and finished 4th on that money list at the end of the season.  He then promptly Monday Qualified his way to a 45th place finish on the Nationwide Tour money list in 2011.
  • Darron Stiles had a 1st and a 2nd in four starts and finished 7th on the Carolina Winter Tour money list.  He ended up 33rd on the Nationwide Tour money list.
Who knows what will happen this year, but if history is any indicator, one or two guys playing right now in these lower tier events may gain the confidence or form they need to make a run at a very successful year. 

Why not Tadd?

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