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February 02, 2021

Korn Ferry Tour pro provides best reaction of the early season after sinking clutch putt in Monday qualifier

Nick Hardy is a promising young golfer, who was 15th on the Korn Ferry Tour money list in 2020 and finished T-14 at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last month. But despite an impressive resume for a 25-year-old, the former All-American at the University of Illinois found himself at this week's Monday qualifier for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, because if you haven't heard, pro golf is tough. And then found himself finishing up that pressure-packed round on Tuesday. It was worth the wait, at least.

We've heard and written so much about Monday qualifiers through the years, but this week, the PGA Tour allowed us to see the action through a live stream. And Ryan French, AKA Monday Q Info, was there to document everything as well. And by everything, we mean everything—including a tour pro guarding his golf ball on a bridge from a lady walking her dogs, and what turned out to be a dramatic finish from Hardy.

After making birdie on his final hole on Monday, Hardy needed two more on his final two holes at McCormick Ranch GC on Tuesday. He came through on No. 8, setting up this birdie putt on No. 9—and the best reaction we've seen thus far in 2021:

If you're counting at home, that's four ferocious fist pumps that would make even Tiger Woods proud, plus a vicious high five for his caddie. And that was just to get into the playoff. Of a Monday qualifier.

There would be more celebrating for Hardy a bit later, however, as he pulled off a spectacular up and down on the second playoff hole to beat Anirban Lahiri for the third and final available spot at TPC Scottsdale this week. Mark Anguiano and Vince Whaley also qualified.

"I knew I was going to have to hit a pure 5-iron and make a good birdie there on nine and I did that," Hardy told French and other reporters after. "So there was a lot of emotion there. Just getting it done. It just feels great."

Yep, Nick, we could tell.