The Suchers' Own Version of 'Moving Day'

By Bailey MosierApril 12, 2011, 4:05 pm

Most golfers know the term “Moving Day” as the Saturday of a tournament where only the players who have made the cut are left; the day in which those wanting any shot at the tournament title need to come in with a low number to put themselves in contention for the final round.

But for Zack Sucher and his wife, Courtney, “Moving Day” holds a completely different meaning this month.

The Suchers are in the midst of moving from their current one-bedroom apartment in Mobile, Ala., to a three-bedroom house in Birmingham, Ala.

The house was given to them by Courtney’s grandmother –now in an assisted living home – and is already paid in full. Zack and Courtney will simply have to pay the utility bill each month – a welcomed decrease in expenses and a much-appreciated increase in floor space.

“It was kind of a no-brainer. It will be great for Courtney to be closer to her family,” Zack said.

An attractive offer they thought too good to pass up, and with Zack traveling so much, it puts Courtney nearer her family who lives in a suburb just outside of Birmingham.

The Suchers had to put a little bit of handy-work into the house before it was move-in ready, such as repainting the inside walls and putting in new carpet. They also had a yard sale and sold a lot of Courtney’s grandmother’s things to make room for furnishings of their own.

And the timing of it all couldn’t be more perfect, either.

Courtney just celebrated her 26th birthday and now with a spacious house, she and Zack may start planning a family of their own sometime soon.

“If I didn’t play golf,' Zack said, 'we’d probably already have a couple little ones running around. Or at least one.”

Courtney and Zack Sucher

Courtney’s birthday and the move into a new home aren’t the only things the Suchers celebrated lately. Zack had his best finish in professional golf to date three weeks ago at the Hooters Tour Charter Childhood Awareness Classic in Gainesville, Ga.

Sucher finished T-2 in a weather-shortened, two-day event and brought home a sizable $11,329 paycheck.

When asked if he was grateful for the rain, he felt indifferent on the subject.

“You always want a shot at winning, but it was nice to get a good-sized check. It’s really not all that bad and I can’t complain,” Zack said.

So what did the Suchers do to celebrate Zack’s first double-digit paycheck of the year and Courtney’s birthday?

Zack took his wife to dinner at California Dreaming, a favorite of theirs, where they treated themselves to seafood nachos, a salad for Courtney and a steak sandwich for Zack.

But the celebrating didn’t stop there.

“I took her to Forever 21 to get some summer clothes. She really liked that,” said Zack, explaining that he also spoiled his wife with some new clothes for her birthday.

The move to Birmingham is a return to the college town where Zack and Courtney met, dated and fell in love six years ago.

It’s also a return to the residence of one of the only swing coaches Zack has ever worked with – Eric Eshleman out of the Country Club of Birmingham.

“It will be really nice getting to see him. I’ll see him once a week now, absolutely,” said Zack.

And perhaps the timing of the Suchers’ move couldn’t be more perfect for Zack’s golf game, either.

Zack followed his T-2 finish in Georgia with a T-37 the subsequent week at a Hooters Tour event in Conover, N.C. Zack had the outright lead after Round 1 and was T-2 after the second round, but shot 80 on 'Moving Day' to fall into a tie for 20th. His Sunday round of 76 put him at T-37 for the tournament.

A move in the wrong direction, but good enough to earn him another paycheck, this one amounting to $1,524.

Finally starting to get a handle on his golf game, a return to working with Eshleman on a consistent basis will be of great benefit to Sucher.

Zack is currently in Northern California for the Nationwide Tour Fresh Express Classic at TPC Stonebrae. He tried to Monday qualify, but his 73 didn't cut it. He is first alternate, however, so he figured the trip cross-country was worth the chance of getting in. He won't know if he gets into the field until Thursday.

When he returns home to Alabama – whether it be on Thursday or Monday – Zack and Courtney willrent a U-haul, load it up and drive the three and a half hours to Birmingham tostart their new life.

Zack and Courtney’s “Moving Day” doesn’t have anything to do with moving up and down a leaderboard, but it does mean big changes on the horizon for their life as a couple and for Zack’s golf game.

Getty Images

Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

Getty Images

DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

Getty Images

Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

Getty Images

Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.