Albany native and Byne Christian alum Josh Broadaway is just one of a handful of local golf pros who've returned home this week to take part in the Hooters Tour Michelob Ultra Classic at Stonebridge. The first round tees off today at 7:30 a.m. and it's the first pro golf event to be held in Albany since 2006. (Photo courtesy of golfweek.com/Special to The Herald)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The PGA Tour's website, pgatour.com, recently published a feature story on Albany native Josh Broadaway -- partly because of his unusual crosshanded grip he plays golf with, and partly because his career is suddenly taking off like never before.
In the article, Broadaway -- who was coming off back-to-back Top 5 finishes on the Nationwide Tour for the first time ever -- told the reporter that based on the way he's playing these days, he's never felt closer to finally securing his first career win.
And on Saturday evening, Broadaway repeated those sentiments.
"You never want to get too far ahead of yourself, but if I keep doing what I'm doing, I feel like this is my week," he said.
What Broadaway's been "doing" is nothing short of remarkable as he sits in third place -- one shot off co-leaders Travis Hampshire and Steve Friesen (both at 18-under) with a round to play -- at the Price Cutter Charity Championship. Broadaway has been creeping toward the lead all week, shooting 6-under on Day 1, 7-under on Day 2 and then posting a 4-under on Saturday. He's also only bogeyed two holes all week -- Nos. 15 and 16 on Saturday -- that snapped a career-long 66 holes (dating back to last week) without one. His highlight of the day came on No. 17 when he dropped a 30-foot putt to move within one shot of the lead.
"I'm playing well, hitting the ball solid and I'm holing a lot of putts," said Broadaway, who graduated from Byne before going on to play golf at Troy and eventually the Nationwide Tour, which he's played on for the last five years. "This is a scoreable course -- all the Par 5s are reachable -- and I've had some success here before. I just need to stay aggressive."
Broadaway finished tied for fourth here in 2008, but says he plans to finish the job this time around.
"I talked to my brother and my friend who's a sports psychologist (Saturday night) after my round and they told me to just keep doing what I'm doing and don't look at the leaderboard all day (today)," he said. "If I have a good round, I may glance up with two or three holes to go and see where I'm at. The best thing that could happen is that I play so well, I never even have to look. I'll just know then that this was my week."
Broadaway's highest career finishes came in 2008 and 2009 when he was third (Fort Smith Classic in 2009 and Micosukee Classic in 2008), and Broadaway scored his biggest career payday of $70,400 when he finished fourth earlier this season at the Children's Hospital Invitational.
It's been that kind of year for Broadway -- and now he's got just one more round to go to bring it all full circle.
And if he does, a PGA Tour card could await.
After not even starting the year on the Nationwide Tour and having to play his way onto the circuit midseason, Broadaway's performances the last several weeks -- a tie for fourth, fifth and 15th -- now have him poised to finish in the Top 25 on the money list for the season with just 11 tournaments left. He started this week 26th on the money list, and should Broadaway make the Top 25 money list cut by the end of the year, he'll automatically earn his first-ever PGA Tour card for next season, ensuring he'll finally graduate from pro golf's lower-tiered circuit for the first time in his five-year career.