BRITISH OPEN: Bohn may have missed cut, but he's still living the dream

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland - Jason Bohn came to the home of golf, aware that he would be required to acclimate to a multiplicity of conditions, golf-related and beyond, but has not allowed any negative thoughts to spoil his latest adventure.

He missed the cut in the 2010 British Open, done in principally by a triple bogey at the 17th hole Friday, when he had difficulty hacking the ball out of a miserably thick rough.

"A learning experience," he said as he made other plans for a weekend in St. Andrews. "I want to enjoy the town. Meet the people, visit the pubs, hoist a pint or two, and make plans to come back."

With that testimony, any Royal & Ancient Golf Club official within ear shot would have invited him down to the nearest pub and ordered several pints on the house.

After Friday's round, marked by a delay when the wind made it impossible to play, Bohn remained positive. He had played in tournaments where it was too stormy or too wet to compete but never when the winds forced a stoppage of play. He certainly had never experienced anything like the British Open, where the wind kicks up its heels as violently as the gusts that threw Jonah overboard.

Disappointment with the results of his first Open experience has failed to turn him against competing in links golf.

"I want to play in as many British Opens as I can," he said. "This has been an awesome experience, and I want to return and learn play these courses. It is different, but I am anxious to continue."

A native of Lewisburg, Pa., Bohn, who won at New Orleans earlier this year, lives in Acworth and is a member of the board of directors of the Cartersville Country Club. Adaptability is his motto, whether he is learning the nuances of the greens and undulating fairways at the Old Course, links golf, gorse and unpredictable Scottish weather, or what to do about overseeding and fertilizing the greens at his home club.

"Being on the board at Cartersville," he began with a laug, "has been an interesting experience for me. I am having fun trying to work to make the club more efficient and to see what we can do to make the golf course more enjoyable to play."

You would think a guy who deals with the frustrations of playing on the PGA Tour for a living would not choose to take on a responsibility where members can fuss and complain. As a resident of the community, however, he expects to do more than pay his homestead exemption.

Bohn, ranked 19th on the PGA money list, was drawn to Bartow County because of the proximity of the Atlanta airport and because his wife, Tewana, is from Rome. He has been able to follow his dream, crediting it to a fairy tale experience when he was a member of the golf team at the University of Alabama.

A local charity offered an opportunity for participants to tee it up in a hole-in-one shootout. An ace brought the winner a $1 million prize. A par-3 hole was created on a driving range, and through a process of elimination the contestants were narrowed down to 12 players.

The distance was 136 yards. Bohn chose a nine iron and fired at the pin. The ball went in, his first hole-in-one. His golf coach immediately advised him that if he accepted the prize, he would have to forego his scholarship.

Bohn wasn't interested in insulting his coach, but his first reaction was to hunt for a pen.

"Where do I sign?" he asked, turning professional on the spot.

The payout was for 20 years at the rate of $50,000 a year -- insignificant in years like 2010 when he has already banked $1,763,673, but it was much different in 1992.

"What was so nice about it," Bohn began, "was that it enabled me to pursue my dream."

Attitude has made a difference in his career, and attitude may bode well for him when he returns to compete in upcoming British Opens.

He doesn't know what the future holds.

He only knows he will be back.