Want more proof PGA Tour golf is hard? Cody Gribble played the last two seasons on the Web.com tour, but looked anything like a worried rookie at the Sanderson Farms Championship.
He went 63-67-65 Friday to Sunday to turn conditional status into a two-year exemption, and did it with the confident play of a veteran.
Birdies at 11 and 13 on Sunday had given Gribble a one-shot lead, but he faced a tricky uphill, short-sided, into-the-grain pitch on 15. He clipped it perfectly, leaving himself an easy birdie putt--one that would lead to two more birdies on 16 and 17--and an eventual four-shot win.
"The back nine on Sunday is no time to be questioning your technique, and Cody Gribble kept it really simple," says Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Jason Sedan, who is based at Lake Winnipesaukee Golf Club in New Durham, NH. "He kept his wedge close to the ground and let the loft of the club pitch the shot in the air--not any aggressive hand action, which can be tough to control under pressure."
Gribble's shot stayed low and checked quickly when it hit the green, settling to a couple of feet. "Even though he used a 59-degree wedge, he kept it under the height of the flagstick," says Sedan. "That's the tour player's shot of choice for maximum control from a fringe lie around the green. To hit it, be sure to let your lead arm fold and the clubhead move around you through impact. This keeps the bounce on the bottom of the club exposed to the turf, and maintains a consistent amount of loft near the ball."
Even when you're left-handed.