Tennessee Headed To College World Series Title Game After 4-1 Win Over Aggies

UTC’s Paul Conroy Qualifies For PGA Tour Americas

  • Saturday, May 25, 2024
  • Paul Payne
Recent UTC golfer Paul Conroy qualified for the PGA Tour Americas this week
Recent UTC golfer Paul Conroy qualified for the PGA Tour Americas this week
photo by Gomocs.com

This week certainly did not unfold quite like Paul Conroy had originally planned. But the outcome might turn out to be the best thing for his golf future in the long run.

Conroy, who recently graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, had this week circled on his calendar for an important golf tournament. However, he had hoped it would be in California competing for the Mocs in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship.

UTC failed to advance past last week’s regionals, so Conroy took the opening in his schedule to resort to Plan B. Instead, he spent the week in Ocala, Fla. competing in the PGA Tour Americas Qualifying Tournament at the Country Club of Ocala.

The native of Enniscorthy, Ireland who was a three-time All-Southern Conference selection and medalist in two tournaments for the Mocs, took the first step in the professional chapter of his golf career. Conroy earned full status for the North American Swing of the tour formerly known as the Canadian Tour for its final ten events this season.

“I was more disappointed leaving regionals about the fact I would never get to play with my teammates for Chattanooga again,” Conroy said. “But I was focused on the the opportunities available this week and obviously thrilled to come out with fully-exempt status.”

Conroy finished tied for seventh in the 72-hole event that concluded Friday at 8-under 280, putting together rounds of 68-72-71-69 to earn one of the nine coveted exemptions.

“I feel like this week was just a continuation of what we had been doing the last two years at Chattanooga,” Conroy said. “The qualifying system Blaine (Woodruff) used was greatly beneficial to me this week because you have to earn everything. Whether you’re qualifying a spot in the lineup or for a tour card, having that experience of earning everything made things easier. Even though it was my first “Q” school it felt like I had been there numerous times before.”

His opening score of 4-under 68 placed him tied for second after the first day, and the middle two rounds left him knowing a strong finish would be needed. He covered his front nine in 33, making two birdies along with an eagle and a lone bogey.

Conroy stumbled to open his final nine with a double-bogey at No. 10, before righting the ship. He birdied the par-3 11th before giving it back on 12. He returned to form down the stretch with birdies at 13 and 15 then closed with three pars to gain his status on the number, nine shots behind winner Thomas Ponder who posted a score of 17-under.

Sam Espinosa, Conroy’s fellow senior teammate at UTC, finished tied for 35th after compiling a four-day total of 2-under 286. The native of Spain opened with a 69, before posting a pair of 72s followed by a final-round 73.

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Paul Payne can be emailed at paulpayne6249@gmail.com

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Paul Payne can be emailed at paulpayne6249@gmail.com

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