AVONDALE, La. – Bobby Wyatt has been stuck in golf’s no man’s land since he graduated from Alabama in 2014 with back-to-back NCAA team titles.
After failing to take advantage of six PGA Tour starts when he first turned pro, Wyatt hasn't broken through Web.com Tour Q-School at the end of each year, leaving him to cobble together a schedule of Monday qualifiers, mini-tour events and international tournaments. This spring, that led to a three-week trip to South Africa, where he competed in a few events on the Sunshine Tour.
“The most frustrating part,” he said, “is not being where I want to be.”
Wyatt, a former All-American with the Crimson Tide and teammate of Justin Thomas, received a sponsor exemption into this week’s Zurich Classic, just his ninth career start in the big leagues. After opening with 67, he is tied for ninth, five shots back, heading into the weekend.
Wyatt changed instructors last fall, moving to Scott Hamilton, and saw immediate improvement in his driving. Even more significant will be having a schedule for the first time in his career. He recently advanced through Canadian Tour Q-School, and the 12-event season begins next month. The money leader receives a 2017 Web.com Tour card, the top five earn conditional status and the top 10 are exempt into the final stage of Q-School.
“I’ve learned more than I could ever have imagined,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting it to be this rough of a few years. I’ve had some great experiences and played in some nice events, but I just haven’t played well. I’ve learned it’s a lot of patience and a lot of the little things that really makes a difference.”