CROMWELL, Conn. – Brendon Todd seemed as though he was heading for another disappointing first round. After bogeying Nos. 4 and 5 (his 13th and 14th holes) at TPC River Highlands Thursday, he stood at 2-over par.
Todd, the 2011 PGA Tour Q School medalist, regrouped with a furious final stretch, making birdie on three of his last four holes – including chipping in from just off the green on No. 7 – to stand at 1-under heading into today’s second round of the Travelers Championship.
“I was pretty beat up after those two bogeys,” said Todd, a native of Pittsburgh who now lives in Atlanta. “I felt like I was getting a little out of sorts again in the first round, which has been sort of my struggle the last couple months.”
Todd is hoping a good showing at the Travelers Championship will get his season back on track. After winning Q School, he was guaranteed entry into the first seven events of the season. He took advantage of that, making the cut in four of the first five tournaments, including a pair of top-15 finishes.
But the wave from Q School started to run dry. Todd began to struggle mightily, making just two cuts in his next 12 events.
He was trying to adjust to a new teacher after his former teacher, in his words, “bailed on me.”
It was a disappointing time for Todd, who had high hopes that his second full season on the PGA Tour would be more successful.
“I felt better prepared for the experience and knowing what the courses were going to be like. But I was coming off a couple difficult years,” said Todd. “Even though I got going at the end of last year and got off to a good start, I still didn’t quite feel like I had a perfect system or even a great system in place to be at the high level I wanted to be at on this tour.
“That’s still been my focus here the last couple of months: sort of regroup and put together more of an elite system that I can put in place every week and hopefully compete at a better level.”
Todd said rather than focusing on big-picture results, he’s looking for the little victories and the small positives and building on those.
Thursday’s closing stretch, certainly was one.
“I hit a good wedge on No. 6 and chipped in on No. 7,” he said. “You just never know when it’s going to turn your way.”
Another solid outing today should get him into the weekend at TPC River Highlands.
Todd has plenty of season left, though his couple months of struggle have put him in a position where he can’t choose his own schedule. The reshuffle has knocked him lower in the pecking order, so he’ll be able to play only certain events.
That puts a little added pressure on him; when he does get into an event, he needs to make cuts to earn enough money to retain his card for 2013. Coming into the Travelers Championship, he stood at No. 118 on the money list, still within the top 125 where he needs to be to automatically keep his card for the following season.
Today will be an important round for Todd, and he’s confident he’ll perform up to his expectations.
“I really think I can take the positive finish today, and I’ve really played well on Fridays, so I’m looking forward to the round,” he said. “I’m still in a good position right now in June. And I’m playing well, so I look at it as a really positive thing.”
– Chuck Curti