By Jared Price
A couple of weeks ago, Talor Gooch was not quite sure if golf was going to be sufficient enough to make ends meet, now he is headed to the Professional Golf Association Tour.
The journey wasn’t quite as smooth as Gooch made it seem this last tournament. Gooch played the Mackenzie Tour, a small branch of the PGA Tour that is held in Canada, a year ago. He posted four top-10 finishes in 12 starts and that was good enough for 15th-place on the Order of Merit, which is simply the final ranking for this tour.
These standings did not seem like they were going to be quite enough to even continue to be a professional but nine months later, he is a Web.com Tour winner and heading to the PGA Tour after a runner-up and a victory in back-to-back starts.
PGA.com reported an interview they had with Gooch about what his journey has been like.
“From the beginning of the year, not having much money in the account and needing to play well early to now, I think I can go have a nice dinner,” Gooch said in the PGA.com interview. “It’s quite the opposite ends of the spectrum. It’s been a crazy year.”
As mentioned, Gooch posted a solo runner-up finish and a victory in back to back weeks. In the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr. Pepper, Gooch fired an outstanding eight under 64 in the final round to put him at 24 under for the tournament. But, Ben Silverman finished just a single stroke ahead of Gooch to take the trophy.
It was now time for the News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot in Knoxville, Tennessee at Fox Den Country Club. Gooch carded a first round 66 to put him in the hunt for the lead. His second and third rounds were 67 and 68 respectively, which kept him in striking distance but it came down to needing a flawless final round and he did just that.
Gooch fired a six under 65 to take the title. Gooch’s birdies came in “two’s” as he birdied five and six, 10 and 11, then 14 and 15. Gooch finished his round and then waited on runner-up Jonathan Hodge to play 18. Hodge needed to birdie 18 to force a playoff with Gooch. But, he did not and Gooch was then crowned champion.
After winning this tournament, Gooch secured his PGA Tour card and will be eligible to play in these events next season. Gooch said that very moment was something he had been waiting for and working hard for, for a long time.
“It is truly a dream come true and is certainly a lot of extremely hard work paying off,” Gooch said. “It is a very satisfying feeling.”
Gooch said he hopes for good play in the future and hopes to hold his own on the PGA Tour, but for now is taking it all in.
“For now I am just taking it all in with my family and friends, I would be nowhere near where I am today without them,” Gooch said. “I obviously hope the good play continues, but I am going to enjoy this experience one day at a time.”
Gooch will finish this season on the Web.com Tour; therefore will compete in the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz in North Plains, Oregon this week, starting Aug. 24.