CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Nate Smith was a Monday qualifier for this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, then opened with a 5-under 67 to grab a share of the lead, but afterward all anyone wanted to talk about was one thing.
His golf bag.
Smith played the first round with about 60 signatures from fellow competitors adorning his new Callaway bag, part of a practical joke by another player.
“So I played a prank on my buddy James Hahn earlier this week on the driving range,” Smith explained. “I slipped a little walkie-talkie in his bag, and I had another one, and I was messing around with him saying some funny things into it. He couldn't figure out who it was. We were getting a kick out of it, but it was driving him nuts.
“So I came into the locker room afterwards and he figured out it was me. I think I actually told him. He put a little sign on my bag that says, ‘For charity auction. All players please sign the bag.’ So people started signing it, which is like, you know, kind of a little embarrassing when you're playing as a Monday qualifier. You don't want people to be making fun of you. But I kind of had it coming from James, so it's all in good fun. I'll be getting him back. So don't you worry about that.”
So, what was the coolest signature he received on the bag?
“The best one might be the one that says happy birthday,” he said, “because it's definitely not my birthday until August 7th.”
So far this season, Smith has made three of five cuts on the Web.com Tour. This is his first PGA Tour start of the year. He’s currently ranked 1,306th on the Official World Golf Ranking.