Eagle Takes a Swing at Success on Nationwide Tour
A former Eagle turned professional in 2001, Blake Adams joined the Nationwide Tour in 2007, but lost his status as a member due to injuries incurred during the season. He continued to compete in Nationwide Tour events in 2008 and in October he went to Q-School (Qualifying School). On the first day at Q-School, after hitting a practice shot, he felt a striking pain through his left hip that forced a doctor consultation after the tournament concluded.
“As soon as it happened, it was like my range of motion just went away. I couldn’t turn to my left side. I just couldn’t swing; I couldn’t turn my body,” said Adams. “But I just played through the pain because I’ve never pulled out of a tournament before unless I couldn’t walk. I just plugged along and went to the doctor on Monday.”
Adams sought a second opinion after the first doctor told him a hip replacement, and at the minimum, a hip arthroscopy was needed if he ever wished to play golf at 100 percent again.
The second opinion disagreed that an arthroscopic procedure was needed and the physician told Adams that if he could regain his range of motion lost in the injury, he would be able to compete at 100 percent. Rather, the doctor advised Adams to extensively rehabilitate to re-acquire his range of motion.
Adams committed to making a three-and-a-half hour trip to Atlanta for three-hour rehab stints twice a week. After the first rehab session, he would then drive to a gym for another three-hour workout, and then drive the three-and-a-half hours back home.
After four months and countless hours of rehab, on January 15, 2009, Adams finally picked up a golf club.
“October was definitely a breaking point for the path I had to cross,” said Adams of his career-halting injury in October 2008. “I worked extremely hard with the rehab because I didn't want to look back years later wondering 'what if' I had been healthy my entire career. I wanted to guarantee that if my success in golf was limited, it wouldn't be due to the injuries I experienced. I vowed to get healthy and then see how successful I could be. I was tired of playing hurt.”
Adams opened his 2009 campaign in April at the Athens Regional Foundation Classic where he finished tied-11th at 9-under 279. His first top-10 finish came at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in May, as he fired a 19-under par 267 for a third-place tie. Adams displayed another 19-under par performance at the Knoxville Open in June, tying for third.
The Georgia Southern letterman’s (1997-1999) best effort to date occurred at the Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic in July. Adams shot two rounds of 68 followed by a third-round 64. He closed the tournament with a 69 to complete an aggregated 16-under 269. Adams’ 269 earned him a second-place finish, only four shots behind winner Roger Tambellini.
For the year, Adams has competed in 12 tournaments on the Nationwide Tour, earning a net purse prize of $255,906, placing him fourth on the money ranking list.
“I’m playing pretty consistent this year. I finally feel healthy, which has been the key to my success,” Adams stated. “I’ve been beaten and battered over the years, but now I feel my game is where it should be.”
After the ups and downs of his playing career, Adams is settling in on the tour and finding his niche focusing on his golf game.
“Now that I’m not restricted from injuries, I feel like I’m able to do things with my golf swing more. It’s a lot less stressful waking up and giving it your best effort; you’re not restricted by anything. It’s very comforting to know,” said Adams. “Now it’s a matter of whether I can make putts or not, not what side of the bed I wake up on.”
Despite a roster of injuries that have hampered Adams’ career, he feel truly blessed to play a ‘game’ for a living.
“I am very grateful for everyone who has helped me throughout my career. I owe the town of Statesboro, Georgia Southern and Forest Heights Country Club a tremendous amount of gratitude for helping me along this journey.”
- Category: Golf
- Published on Sunday, 16 August 2009 12:29