RSM ClassicNovember 21, 2019

Brendon Todd brushes Presidents Cup disappointment aside, continues his assault on PGA Tour courses

Gregory Shamus

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Unless something crazy happens in the near future, Brendon Todd isn't auditioning for a potential Presidents Cup spot this week. In the meantime, something decidedly not crazy happened on Thursday: Brendon Todd went low.

A day after captain Tiger Woods called on Rickie Fowler to replace an injured Brooks Koepka on the U.S. squad in Australia next month, Todd continued his red-hot play—and one of the most remarkable comebacks in golf history—with an opening four-under-par 66 at the RSM Classic on Thursday.

"It feels pretty easy right now," Todd said of playing golf, "but you know, I've struggled enough and I'm humble enough to know it can flip on you at any time so I'm just trying to focus on one hole at a time and keep playing my best."

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Todd has been very open about his struggles with the yips, something that caused him to miss 37 of 41 cuts at one point and drop out of the top 2,000 in the Official World Golf Ranking. But after discovering a book by Bradley Hughes and beginning to work with the former PGA Tour pro turned instructor, he began an incredible comeback that has resulted in winning his past two starts. He's got particularly good vibes in the Sea Island area where he won the SEC Championship as a freshman at the University of Georgia and where he Monday qualified a year ago and made the cut when he was close to quitting the game and pursuing opening a pizza franchise.

"I was almost itching to go back to that Monday qualifier this fall because I had such a good memory of shooting 61 at Brunswick Country Club," Todd said. "I just have really good memories down here."

The 66 is the 10th consecutive sub-70 round for Todd, who is coming off wins at the Bermuda Championship and the Mayakoba Golf Classic. But after hitting 14 of 14 fairways on Sea Island's Seaside Course, he felt it could have been better.

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"I definitely left a few out there, but I also made five great putts for birdie so you don't always do that," said Todd, who is three shots off Webb Simpson's Day 1 lead. "This is kind of a difficult course to get the ball close to the pin on. The fairways were soft, which made hitting them easier, but that also made hitting irons out of the fairway a little more difficult."

Todd is trying to become the first player to win three consecutive starts since Dustin Johnson in 2017. But unless DJ or someone else on the American team traveling to Royal Melbourne can't tee it up, he'll have to wait at least another year to represent the Red, White, and Blue in a team competition. So did Todd think about being passed over?

"It actually did go through my mind at one point," Todd said. "If I could find a way to win again or be in the hunt and finish top three, just how cool that would be and all of a sudden your name gets mentioned for something like that to then put up another good week. But I am the first to understand I had made zero points this year for the Presidents Cup probably. So why should I get picked? So I was never mad I didn't get picked, I just thought it would have been cool to play."

Settling for winning three straight tournaments to finish the year wouldn't be too bad, either.

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