COURTESY OF PROFESSIONAL GOLF ASSOCIATION

Bob Sowards, a 1986 Minford graduate, just competed in his 11th major championship when he performed at the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Scioto County native still dreaming

Sowards has made 11 appearances in golf's major championships

By DEL DUDUIT

Southern Ohio Today


     Scioto County native Bob Sowards is living his dream.


     The 1986 Minford graduate just returned from his 11th appearance in a major golf tournament on the PGA Tour. Sowards, 52, missed the cut at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco at the PGA Championship, but said the experience is always fantastic.


     “It’s always a thrill to play with the best golfers in the world,” said Sowards, who is the golf professional at Kinsale Golf and Fitness in Powell, Ohio. “It’s a great test to see how your game stacks up with them. For me, it’s a dream come true every time I get to play with them on tour.”


     He finished six-over par and missed the cut over the weekend. Sowards shot a one-over par 71 on Thursday and a five-over par 75 on Friday.


     “My drive on nine went into the trees and never came out and I had to play a lost ball,” he said. “I took a triple on that hole and that basically cost me the cut.”


     Sowards said the PGA Championship, won by Collin Morikawa with a 13-under par, was different because no spectators were allowed because of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.


     “It was definitely unique,” said Sowards, who was paired with Richy Werenski and Kurt Kitayama for both of his rounds. “Normally, there are hundreds of people around you and it makes you feel a little nervous because of who you are playing with. But this time it was like I was playing a round of golf with my buddies because no one was there except the players and some volunteers.”


     Sowards added it was less stressful with no fans milling around and blocking views, but said spectators make the event more fun.


     “It looked like we were actually playing golf instead of looking down a bowling alley,” he said. “Sometimes when the fans are there, they can obstruct your views and makes the course look a little more narrow and challenging.


     He earned his PGA Tour card through the 2007 qualifying school and was a rookie in 2008. His best finish was a tie for ninth at the Wyndham Championship. That year, he made nine of 22 cuts. His favorite course to play is Pebble Beach because of the scenery and challenge.


     His goal is to play on the PGA Senior Tour and keep trying his best to make the cut at the PGA Championship.


     “Right now, I’m still living my dream,” he said. “I love playing golf and having a chance to prove myself with the best players around. It’s a thrill and I just want to get better.”

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