SPRINGFIELD, Mo–More then 100 professional golfers got their first taste of the Ozarks heat wave Tuesday.
The Korn Ferry Tour pros took in practice rounds, getting their first look at at the golf course at Highland Springs.
Every year the Price Cutter Charity Championship allows two local golfers a chance to play the PGA tournament through the sponsor’s exemption.
KOLR 10’s Dan Lindblad introduces us to Fair Grove’s Brock Derrick.
For Brock Derrick, it wasn’t always golf-first.
“Baseball was probably my first love. Of course, basketball is right up there, too. And as I got older, you know, I just kept falling more and more in love with golf.”
It was the impossible chase of perfection.
“You can go out there and shoot 62, and you could have shot 61. You know, you could shoot 57, could have shot 56. I mean, you just can’t win. And I just love that grind of you can always get better.”
While others were imagining bases loaded in the 9th, or down one with five seconds left, Derrick was dreaming of a putt.
“Walking around in my yard out in Fair Grove, you know, I would imagine that I’m coming up number 18 at the Price Cutter Charity Championship and I kind of get to live that dream. It’s pretty surreal.”
Derrick, who works and plays almost daily at Millwood, has tried his hand at monday qualifiers. Five times he’s tried, five times he came up short.
“I played good rounds. Just at the end of the day when you got to shoot six or seven under, not that I can’t I just never have when it counted.”
He doesn’t have to go through that stress this year. He’s already in the field. Under a sponsor’s exemption.
” I started to cry a little bit. Immediately I called my dad and told him that I get to play in the Korn Ferry (Tour) in Springfield. And it was a pretty cool moment to spend with him. And, you know, when I saw him to get the hug him, that was awesome.”
Derrick has played in tournaments all over the country.
“I do get to sleep in my own bed this week, which is which is huge. I mean, I get to stay in somewhere, a familiar place, not in, you know, someone’s basement or a hotel or something like that.”
While he hopes to stay busy through Saturday and Sunday. Derrick says having his family, friends and girlfriend watch him play professional rounds already has him at the top of any leaderboard.
“As much as I love golf, there’s a lot bigger things in this world than hitting that little white golf ball. You know, my friends and family, I couldn’t do it without them. I mean, they’ve always had my back. It’s more than just me out there. So having them behind me is huge.”
In Springfield Dan Lindblad OzarksFirst.
The other sponsor’s exemption goes to Poplar Bluff’s Carr Vernon.