Courtney Sucher's Own Best Seller

By Bailey MosierMay 11, 2011, 6:57 am

Go to the self-help section of your neighborhood Barnes and Noble and there you’ll find advice on everything from diet and exercise to parenting and relationships. Of the thousands of already penned ‘how-to’ books, there isn’t a one of them that can help Courtney Sucher with her dilemma. The manual she needs doesn’t exist.

“I joke with my girl friend that there needs to be a book about this sort of thing,” Courtney said.

The paperback she wishes she could get her hands on? ‘How to be a Professional Golfer’s Wife: A Woman’s Guide to Navigating the Lonely Road.’

Most people understand that the life of a touring pro is an isolated one – in and out of hotels, different cities every week, often driving 10 or more hour days from tournament to tournament – but very few consider the seclusion wives and girlfriends endure when their significant others are on the road.

“I don’t think anyone would say it’s delightful. It’s a rollercoaster,” Courtney said, wife to professional golfer Zack Sucher, currently playing a full schedule on the Hooters Tour and Nationwide Tour events when possible.

“You cannot plan with golf. I was one of the biggest planners you’d ever met in your life. And now I’m completely changed.”

Her ability to be more flexible isn’t the only thing that’s changed since she started dating Zack. Before Courtney met Zack in the fall of 2006, she had very little exposure to the game of golf or the lifestyle of the men who play it.

“Golf was always boring to me. When Zack and I first started dating he would be watching golf and I would say, ‘Turn that off,’ and I was like ‘Really? That’s what you do?’”

Courtney didn’t understand golf or Zack’s affection for the game. Luckily, though, it didn’t take long for her to come around.

“The more Zack and I got to know each other the more I wanted to know about [golf] because that’s what Zack’s passion is,” Courtney said.

The two dated all throughout college but Courtney was robbed of any sort of summer romance. Zack would be gone, on the road during the summer months playing golf tournaments – as most serious golfers do – and thus she learned quickly that dating a golfer was anything but textbook.

“He was usually gone every other week [in college] if not every week. So I kind of already had an insight,” Courtney said.

As much as she missed not having Zack around, she understood then and can appreciate now the positives that result from being apart so frequently.

“I think it’s good in the fact that you really get to know each other. It helps get to know real personalities. He showed how much he cared because he took the time to call and he put forth the effort. Unless men are in it for the long-haul they don’t put in the extra effort.”

Zack’s efforts in their marriage and on the golf course do not go unnoticed by Courtney. She’s undoubtedly his biggest supporter and wants nothing more than to see Zack achieve the pinnacle in his sport.

“I hate that he hasn’t made it by now but I think that he can. I’m not ready for him to give up. I try to keep encouraging him. If anyone has a chance to live his dream, I know he can,” Courtney said.

She’s not letting Zack give up, nor is she putting an expiration date on his golf career.

“You can’t really put a timeframe on golf … I mean, he can win next week. Most people say you don’t even prime until you’re 30, so who knows,” Courtney said.

Whether or not Zack ever breaks onto the Nationwide or PGA Tour, there’s one thing she certainly hopes they don’t wait until they’re 30 to do – that is, to have a family. Preferably, the couple wishes for a more stable environment before bringing a child into this world, but, as is the life of a struggling professional golfer and his wife, you can’t really plan for stability.

The Suchers moved last month from Mobile, Ala. into a house in Birmingham located minutes from Courtney’s family.

Now, with free babysitters nearby and larger living quarters, Courtney can see herself getting pregnant by the end of 2011.

“At the beginning we wanted to wait ‘til he had Nationwide status but it’s been two years and he doesn’t. Everything can change in a matter of minutes. You have to set your own pace,” Courtney said.

The move to Birmingham has been immensely better for Courtney already, since she is now able to fill with family the void of Zack being on the road all the time.

“The last two years in Mobile was a struggle for me. All I did was work, eat fast food and sit down with my dog and watch TV at nights. It was really, really lonely.”

Lonely, yes, but never once has Courtney considered asking Zack to give up on his dreams. Simply because she’s anchored at home doesn’t mean she’s the only one suffering.

“You can always allow yourself to focus on the negative which would be to say ‘You are out on a beautiful golf course doing what you love with no worries and I’m stuck at home alone,’ but the truth is that in reality, he has more stress than I do,” Courtney said.

Through her travels with Zack and in getting to know some of the other married couples in the professional golf circuit, Courtney’s noticed that her woes are felt by many other wives and girlfriends. The manner in which they handle their relationships, however, is starkly different than how she and Zack work at their marriage.

“I’ve noticed that most golfers and their wives live separate lives because I think that’s easy to do. But Zack and I really listen to each other. You can easily get lost and forget about each other’s needs and I think that’s really what makes us as a golfing couple work, is that we try not to forget what’s important,” Courtney said.

And what’s important to Courtney is that she and her husband maintain their strong, loving bond no matter the distance, no matter the dilemma.

For as much as Courtney Sucher wishes there were a book telling her how to be a professional golfer’s wife, it seems she’s already laid the foundation – both in theory and in practice – for her own byline on a best seller.

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Garcia among notables to miss FedExCup playoffs

By Will GrayAugust 19, 2018, 10:24 pm

For the first time in the 12-year history of the FedExCup, the PGA Tour's postseason will proceed without Sergio Garcia.

The former Masters champ has struggled mightily this summer, missing the cut in all four majors, and he entered the Wyndham Championship at No. 131 in the season-long points race with only the top 125 making the playoffs. Six years after winning at Sedgefield Country Club, Garcia again made a run up the leaderboard and was projected to reach No. 122 heading into the final round.

But on an afternoon where Brandt Snedeker shot 65 en route to victory and runner-up Webb Simpson carded a 62, Garcia shot an even-par 70 that included three back-nine bogeys to drop from a tie for eighth into a tie for 24th. As a result, he moved up only three spots to No. 128 in the final regular-season event and will not have a tee time next week at The Northern Trust.

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He will remain fully exempt next year by virtue of the five-year exemption he earned with his Masters win last spring.

Garcia was one of 13 players who had made the playoffs every year since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007. Two other members of that select group also saw their streaks end this year, as former world No. 1 Luke Donald has missed most of the season with an injury while Bill Haas finished No. 152 after a T-45 finish at Wyndham.

Other notable players who failed to crack the top 125 include veterans Aaron Baddeley (No. 132), Shane Lowry (No. 140), David Lingmerth (No. 143) and Graeme McDowell (No. 144), all of whom saw multiple-year exemptions for victories in 2015 or 2016 expire this weekend in Greensboro.

Players who finish Nos. 126-200 in the season-long points will have an opportunity to retain their PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season at the Tour Finals, a four-event series that kicks off next week in Ohio. Players who finished Nos. 126-150 will retain at least conditional PGA Tour status for next year regardless of their Finals performance.

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Bryant wins Dick's Sporting Goods Open for second time

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2018, 10:17 pm

ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Bart Bryant made a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday to win the Dick's Sporting Goods Open for the second time in six years.

With playing partner Michael Bradley facing a 7-foot birdie putt that he would make, the 55-year-old Bryant rolled in the left-to-right breaking putt for a 7-under 65 and a one-stroke victory.

''It felt good. It really did,'' Bryant said. ''He hit a great shot in there. He went after the pin, which he had to do. ... I gave it a good run. But to make a putt like that to win a tournament, there's a little bit of luck involved and it was just kind of my day. ... I've had putts made on me on 18 to lose before, so it's nice to be on the other end of the stick this time.''

Bradley, the second-round leader, bogeyed the par-4 15th in a 68.

''It was fun. We had a good time,'' Bradley said. ''He shot 65-65 on the weekend, that's tough to beat. But I put a little pressure on, I hit a good shot into 18. He made a hell of a putt.''

Also the 2013 winner at En-Joie Golf Club, Bryant made six birdies in a nine-hole stretch from the third to the 11th and had six straight pars before the winning birdie putt on the par-4 18th.

Full-field scores from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open

''I played awfully well, I didn't hit a bad shot today,'' Bryant said. ''I played conservatively, a little bit conservative coming in, but smart. It got the job done. Very pleased with the way everything went.''

Bryant finished at 16-under 200. The three-time PGA Tour winner's only senior victories have come at En-Joie, the site of the PGA Tour's B.C. Open from 1972-2005.

The 52-year-old Bradley is winless on the 50-and-over tour after winning four times on the PGA Tour.

''I played solid, 65-68-68,'' Bradley said. ''I just got beat.''

Tom Gillis (67) and Marco Dawson (68) tied for third at 13 under, a stroke ahead of Paul Goydos (65), Kenny Perry (67) and Mark Calcavecchia (67).

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Snedeker goes wire-to-wire for first win since 2016

By Will GrayAugust 19, 2018, 10:12 pm

Even after shooting a 59 in the opening round, Brandt Snedeker had to work to secure his ninth career victory at the Wyndham Championship.

Snedeker led at Sedgefield Country Club the entire week after becoming just the ninth player to break 60 on the PGA Tour, carrying a one-shot lead into the final round. But he was caught down the stretch, first by C.T. Pan and later by Webb Simpson, to leave the outcome very much undecided.

But Simpson ran out of holes, and Pan made a costly mistake by hitting his tee shot on No. 18 out of bounds while holding a share of the lead. It meant that Snedeker needed only bogey to earn his second Wyndham title and first Tour victory since the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open, instead opting to sink a 20-foot birdie putt for a closing 65 and three-shot win.

"I guess I'm turning into Bubba Watson, wanting to cry every two seconds," Snedeker told reporters. "To do it here, to shoot 59 on Thursday, to be in the lead all week, to deal with that pressure every night, to be able to step up to the plate today and shoot 65 when I had to means the world to me."

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Snedeker struggled with injury for much of last season, and this spring he missed the Masters for the first time since 2010 while toiling near the edge of the top-125 bubble in the points race. But the veteran turned things around with a T-6 finish in Memphis in June, added a T-3 finish last month at The Greenbrier and now has come full circle in the city where he earned his first career win at nearby Forest Oaks in 2007.

"I'm a lot stronger than I thought I was," Snedeker said. "I've still got a lot of great golf in me. I'm excited about the FedExCup playoffs. I've done this before, I've won that thing, and I can't wait to try to make a run to Atlanta in the playoffs because I'm playing great."

It was a bittersweet result for Pan, who had his wife on the bag this week and briefly appeared poised for a breakthrough victory. The former University of Washington standout made six birdies in a 12-hole stretch in the middle of his round to catch Snedeker, but his drive on No. 18 sailed well right. It led to a double bogey, and at 18 under he ended the week tied for second with Simpson.

The result was still Pan's best of his young PGA Tour career, having started the week at No. 108 in the points race despite not having a single top-10 finish this season.

"Just had a little noise in my head and it caused me to hit a bad shot," Pan said. "But overall I feel good about the whole round. I played great. Just one bad shot, but that's OK."

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Taylor crashes playoffs with closing 63 at Wyndham

By Will GrayAugust 19, 2018, 9:31 pm

Nick Taylor picked a good time to shoot his best round of the season.

Taylor was the big mover in the standings during the final regular season event, shooting a final-round 63 at the Wyndham Championship to grab a share of eighth place. The result moved the Canadian from No. 129 to No. 121 in the season-long points race, ensuring a spot in The Northern Trust next week and fully-exempt status for the 2018-19 season.

"You try to block it all out when you're playing. I tried not to look at any leaderboards today, especially the second 18," Taylor told reporters. "When I got my PGA Tour card the first time I shot a 63 in the final round ironically of the Finals. So I tried to draw back on that, and it worked today."

Taylor earned his lone PGA Tour win at the 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship, and he dug himself an early hole Sunday morning with a triple bogey on No. 14 while completing his rain-delayed third round. But he made four straight birdies on Nos. 2-5 in the final round, added an eagle on No. 15 and birdied the 72nd hole to retain his card with room to spare.

"It was a long day, obviously," Taylor said. "It was a lot of sleepless nights. Last night I didn't sleep that great."

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Current FedExCup points list

Taylor was one of two players who moved inside the top-125 bubble in the final round of the regular season. Harris English started the week at No. 132, but a T-11 finish allowed him to eke in at No. 124 with no room to spare. English shot a final-round 68 that included a two-putt par from 60 feet on No. 18 when a bogey would have sent the veteran to Tour Finals.

"It's one of the more nerve-wracking feelings I've had in a long time," English said. "It's a way different feeling than trying to win a tournament. I'm glad it's over."

With Taylor and English moving into the top 125, two players saw their seasons come to an end after missing the cut at Sedgefield Country Club. Martin Piller fell from 124th to 126th and was the man edged out by English's closing par, while Tyrone Van Aswegen dropped two spots from No. 125 to No. 127.

Ireland's Seamus Power, who also missed the cut in Greensboro, finished the season at No. 125 with 377 points, six ahead of Piller.

All players who finished the season Nos. 126-200 on the points list will have a chance to earn one of 25 PGA Tour cards available at the four-event Finals, while Nos. 126-150 will retain conditional PGA Tour status for next season.