As a member of the Korn Ferry Tour from 2001-2007, O’Neal gathered nine top rated-10 finishes in 154 commences, such as a runner-up finish in Scranton, PA. in 2005.
Even with individuals encouraging bricks assisting pave his way, the frustration of near misses held the likely of turning the 1997 Savannah Golf Corridor of Fame inductee into just one of the lots of who gave the match his all, but arrived up quick.
An unlucky change of gatherings down the final stretch of both the 2001 and 2004 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournaments still left O’Neal just one stroke shy of securing his TOUR card.
“There have been a couple moments when I could have stopped playing golf,” O’Neal admitted. “I was not enjoying perfectly in 2011 and 2012. I didn’t have any sponsors and golfing is highly-priced to check out to participate in. I was in a undesirable spot. I did not know what I preferred to do.”
Even when points weren’t going O’Neal’s way, it was his mother’s unwavering assistance of and perception in him that stored him likely. O’Neal did just that.
“She explained I ought to figure out a way and just believe that it was going to take place,” he claimed.
What occurred was that O’Neal acquired an possibility to contend in Morocco in 2011. He won the initial function in which he competed, which was followed by two added victories. He then recalled a made slash in a DP Earth Tour party in 2011. Bounces then, he thought, had been doing work in his favor.
“I do really much consider that things happen for a motive,” he mentioned “I just persevered and kept believing that issues ended up likely to work out and they did. And right here I am today, even now grinding hard and taking part in in this stunning position, Pebble Beach. I in no way thought I’d be in this article. So yeah, it is been brilliant.”
O’Neal was uncovered to the match early in existence from his father at dwelling in Savannah on a par-3 course. In superior faculty, he played baseball, but in Georgia at the time, baseball and golf overlapped in the exact time. Realizing he couldn’t do the two, O’Neal chose golfing.
“I grew up actively playing a public study course, but a ton of these young children didn’t have accessibility to any of that. When I was coming up there wasn’t a Very first Tee, any of that. I came up by means of junior tournaments they had in Savannah and developed from there.”
Even however Initial Tee was not close to when O’Neal was rising up, O’Neal is a staunch supporter of it today and almost everything it represents and does for youthful men and women.
“Kids being launched to golf by Very first Tee is remarkable, due to the fact you can use what you understand in golfing in lifestyle in a good deal of distinct strategies,” O’Neal explained. “Just acquiring obtain, remaining capable to play golf is large. What First Tee is accomplishing with these youngsters is receiving them involved in everyday living lessons. It’s undoubtedly massive, and I’ll do whichever I can to enable at home with Initial Tee. I have often required to do that, and I have accomplished that. You can’t go completely wrong when you’re instructing young children the lessons of lifestyle like Initially Tee does.”
Poised for the remaining round of the PURE Insurance policies Championship Impacting 1st Tee in marvelous situation, not only is O’Neal humble and grateful for the chance to showcase his expertise, but he’s also self-confident. It’s a self confidence backed not only by what he has obtained, but also by the fortitude he in no way strayed from when matters did not go just his way.