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The Loop

Tour pro's absentmindedness winds up getting him a spot in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

February 05, 2019

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Jonathan Byrd lives in limboville on the PGA Tour. The 41-year-old former All-American at Clemson no longer has full status, having finished No. 159 on last season’s FedEx Cup points list. But as a five-time tour winner he can still get into several events as a past champion. In the meantime, he plays in Tour events hoping to stay sharp and ultimately find a way to get back on the PGA Tour full time.

Play in the Tour’s Panama Championship was what Byrd expected to be doing this week. Until, that is, he realized when he got to the Jacksonville Airport to take his flight down to Central America that he’d broken the No. 1 rule of international travel: He’d forgotten his passport.

Upset with himself, he turned around and started driving back to his home in St. Simons Island, Ga., unsure what to do next. While on the road, though, Byrd learned that his status on the alternate list for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am had greatly improved, and that he was now the first alternate. A couple of hours later, he had actually gotten into the PGA Tour event.

“I’d be in Panama instead of Pebble this week if I didn’t forget my passport,” Byrd wrote on Twitter. “God always has a bigger plan!”

Byrd hopes his absentmindedness can become a true blessing in disguise as he tries try to move back toward full PGA Tour status. He has already played in four PGA Tour events in 2018-’19, making the cut in all four but finishing no better than T-23 in any (he’s played just one in 2019, a T-57 at the Desert Classic). Currently he stands at No. 146 on the FedEx Cup points list. His track record at Pebble includes a T-3 finish back in 2006, and made cuts in his last two starts (2016 and 2018).