It’ll be a family affair for the Loves next week at Sea Island.
Davis Love III is the tournament host at the RSM Classic, and his son, Dru, will make his PGA Tour debut after earning a sponsor exemption on Sunday.
With so many players to choose from for one of the unrestricted spots, Davis Love prefers to have his own pre-tournament qualifier between the guys that he is considering.
Last year, Patton Kizzire won that qualifier. He went on to finish No. 1 on the Web.com Tour money list and is off to a hot start this season on the big circuit.
On Sunday, on a windy day at Sea Island’s Plantation course, Dru Love, a junior at Alabama, shot 3 under and beat three other players with local ties (Cory Whitsett, Josh Teater and Drew Weaver).
“I expected Dru to play well,” Davis said Sunday night, “but to play well against those guys, for all four it’s a crapshoot.”
It’s been a trying week for Love, whose mother, Penta, suffered a stroke and is recovering in a facility in Jacksonville, Fla.
“She’s in therapy and is asking how Dru is doing,” Davis said. “It all kind of hit me at once. It’s going to be a very strange, surreal week without her around.”
Dru has struggled this season for the Crimson Tide after hurting his shoulder during the Western Amateur. He has failed to finish inside the top 65 in two starts, but a meeting with Butch Harmon last month in Las Vegas appears to have improved his outlook.
Dru Love has been working to eliminate some of his head movement during his downswing, but nothing seemed to work. Harmon gave Dru one tip – look in front of the ball when you hit it – and for three weeks he has been stripping it on the range.
Finally, Love’s Sea Island-based swing coach Jordan Dempsey told him: “You just need to go out and play.”
That’s what Dru did Sunday, earning a spot in his dad’s tournament.
“It’s amazing what one little boost of confidence can do,” Davis Love said. “Now he has the confidence that he is on the right path.”