By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Brandt Jobe has won 12 times around the world but the well-traveled Oklahoma native has never hoisted a trophy as a pro in the United States.
Jobe came close earlier this year when he tied for second at the Memorial Tournament, the fourth runner-up of his TOUR career and his first since 2005. And he's giving himself another golden opportunity at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic this week.
Jobe fired a 67 that included a 32 on the back nine of the Palm Course Friday to move to 8 under and into a tie for sixth. He'll start the weekend just four strokes off the lead held jointly by Justin Leonard and rookie Bio Kim, as a result.
"It was tough," Jobe said. "Trying to figure out how far the wind was going to go with as cool as what it was, it was difficult. Had a hard time getting the ball close, especially early in the round.
"... There was a real heavy dew this morning … and it was just kind of wet and picking up little bit of mud here and there. For the Palm Course, I thought it played pretty tough."
Jobe has battled a litany of injuries over the last few years, most notably those to his left hand suffered when a broom handle broke as he was sweeping his garage. The tip of his left finger and the base of his thumb were severed in the freak accident.
"I don't feel in my left hand and two fingers, so ... I still struggle with that because if I hit my little index finger when I'm putting, it zings," Jobe said. "So imagine having a zinger over a three-footer. It's tough enough, isn't it? But we're getting there. Just got to figure out a good grip. Haven't figured out that part yet."
Nor does he know exactly what he's doing right in a career year that has seen him post four top-10s and top the $1 million mark for the first time.
"If I knew, I would do it every year, right?" Jobe said. "The
last three years have been tough. Just kind of got on a swing that
I thought could work, and I been working actually really hard the
last year and a half trying to get my ball striking down and figure
out how to do it.
"Gone from a big fade to a draw now, which is a huge change visually. And it's been repeating itself. As you know, that's the key out here, is hitting the shots that you believe you can hit, and then doing it. So that adds the confidence."