You’d have forgiven Greg Eason if he’d tucked his tail between his legs and jetted home to England after posting an opening 90 – a round that included a horrific decuple-bogey 15 on the 18th hole – in the Web.com Tour’s Bahamas Great Abaco Classic earlier this week.
Your understanding would have deepened knowing that he’d carded rounds of 91-95 in windswept conditions at the tour’s season-opening Bahamas Great Exuma Classic two weeks earlier, losing 32 balls in the process.
But give the 24-year-old credit. Rather than withdraw, he showed up for the second round and shot a bogey-free 68.
It wasn’t enough to make the cut – he missed by 12 strokes – but his 22-stroke turnaround was the largest ever recorded in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.
“I was a little skeptical going into to the round, but it’s obviously delightful to break par eventually, or even break 80, or even 90 actually,” said Eason, who appeared chuffed, as the British say, in a video interview posted on the Web.com Tour’s Twitter feed. “I had a friend help me out on the range last night, and really found something there, and it was great all day.”
"I'm obviously delighted to break par eventually … or even break 80 …
"Or even 90, really." pic.twitter.com/59QzZjcrXQ
— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) January 25, 2017
The pal noticed that Eason’s swing had gotten too steep, thereby generating excessive spin into the wind, Eason explained.
“It was just too hard to play with that, so I got myself together a bit and started hitting the ball properly and saved 22 shots,” he said with a chuckle.
With good cheer, the past All-American at the University of Central Florida recounted his first-round struggles during the interview.
“I thought my preparation was good for the week,” he said. “A bit demoralizing to end up with a 15 down 18 yesterday. It was like a driving range on that tee.”
His description of the 15: “I think there were six (shots) off the tee. Found the third one, had a few drops, a few hacks and a few more hazards further up … it was equally distributed left and right.”
Eason may not be out of the wilderness, but he can certainly take heart in his turnaround. And who knows, he might just emulate his countryman Justin Rose, who missed the cut in his first 21 starts as a professional before going on to win the U.S. Open and an Olympic gold medal.