By Alex Myers
A year ago, part-time PGA Tour player Brendon Todd missed the cut at the John Deere Classic to fall to No. 273 in the Official World Golf Ranking. This year, Todd, now the PGA Tour's hottest player, is skipping the event to prepare for his first British Open.
So how did we get to this point? Let's review Todd's amazing past couple of months.
Todd picked up his first PGA Tour win at the HP Byron Nelson Classic in May, which vaulted him from No. 136 to No. 63 in the ranking. The 28-year-old followed that up with a T-5 at Colonial and a T-8 at the Memorial. He then opened with rounds of 69 and 67 at Pinehurst to get into Saturday's final group at the U.S. Open. A third-round 79 put a quick end to his hot stretch, but then Todd bounced back with a Sunday 69 to finish T-17 in his first major championship.
Since then? Merely a T-5 at the Quicken Loans National and a T-4 over the weekend at the Greenbrier. Todd has made more than $3 million this season -- $2 million in just the past two months -- and is currently No. 9 in the FedEx Cup standings. He has seven top 10s and has made 19 of 22 cuts.
So what has been the key to the tour's biggest turnaround?
"Eliminating the one bad shot that might cause a double bogey or might prevent you from maintaining momentum," Todd said at the U.S. Open.
In his last 24 rounds, Todd has shot in the 60s 17 times and his worst score other than his U.S. Open meltdown is a 72. Todd's play has surprised many, but not the man who was a four-time All American at the University of Georgia.
"I saw it coming. I only got 10 starts on the PGA TOUR last year. And I had five top 20s, and was a shot away from four top 10s," said Todd, who was ranked as low as No. 649 early in 2013. "I feel like I should have done it last year. I just couldn't get it done. And this year I've just been able to take that momentum and put it to work."
If he rides this momentum any longer, you'll see Todd representing the U.S. at the Ryder Cup this fall. He's currently No. 10 on the points list, one spot away from automatically qualifying.
The man with two first names isn't exactly a household name just yet, but he's getting close.