Can you imagine making a bogey over nine holes of golf? Congratulations, you're just like the rest of us. Now, can you imagine shooting a combined 55 over the same nine holes with a bogey over the course of two days? That's what Web.com Tour player Michael Arnaud did en route to his victory at the BMW Charity Pro-Am this week in Greenville, South Carolina.
Arnaud's scorecards have to be seen to be believed. Because of the field size with so many amateurs playing, the tournament is broken up over three different courses. Arnaud played the Thornblade Club on Friday and dropped a 60 which included a 27 on the front nine (with that bogey). A 27 with a bogey! Arnaud started birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie and shot 60 on the day.
"I don't think I've ever done that to start a round. I think I've had a few times back home where I've done it in the middle of the round but never to start the round off," Arnaud told PGATour.com. "I thought I put a cheat code in for a video game. It almost got laughable."
The vibes continued on Sunday as players returned to the Thornblade Club and Arnaud nearly matched his 27 with a bogey-free 28 on the front nine. That's 55 on the front nine at Thornblade the two times he played it on the week. He went on to shoot 63 in the final round and won by five over Kyoung-Hoon Lee and Robby Shelton.
Even more incredibly, Arnaud almost didn't get into the field and has only played six Web.com Tour events in the last two years to go with his one (!) PGA Tour event in his entire career. As Golf Digest noted, Arnaud plays the APT Tour and has yet to crack $8,500 this year. He's ranked No. 1,993 in the world, which is essentially the same as not being ranked.
Now he's probably going to be on the PGA Tour in 2019 as the top 25 money earners from the Web.com Tour get their cards. Arnaud, age 36, will likely be among them after taking home $126,000 (which is $4,000 shy of his career earnings total on the Web.com Tour and $126,000 more than he's earned all year on the Web.com Tour).
"It was great," said Arnaud of closing the tournament with a huge lead at the final hole. "I have so many people telling me to keep grinding, keep grinding," he said. "They knew I had the talent to make it out there. My wife just tells me to keep working at it. And that's what I've done. And finally the fruits of my labor have just paid off.
Arnaud only got into the field when Kent Bulle withdrew with an injury.
"I found out Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m," Arnaud told PGATour.com. "I was planning on coming up because I was first alternate, but I found out Wednesday and I flew in Wednesday afternoon. I got in at 6:30 p.m. ..."
"Fate was on my side," he added. "Last man in the field, and now I'm the first man on top of the leaderboard at the end of the week."