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Bubble boy Cody Blick explains the fight for a PGA TOUR card

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Bubble boy Cody Blick explains the fight for a PGA TOUR card

He stands one-fifth of a point outside the top 30 with two events left

    Written by Kevin Prise @PGATOURKevin

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Cody Blick has seen what hard work looks like.

    Blick’s parents operate a trucking business, Royal Trucking, which transports rock, sand, gravel and petroleum products across the Bay Area of California. Blick loves his parents and their work ethic, but he had a different vision for his own line of work.

    “They’re always stressed out and they just never slow down,” Blick said of his parents. “Whatever they do, they’re going to do it as well as they can … growing up, seeing how stressed out they were, I don’t want to be stressed out over telling people where to take these rocks. I’ll be stressed out about golf, about how I’m going to get better, what I can do to get better.”

    That perspective has kept Blick grounded through the ups and downs of professional golf. He enters this week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the penultimate event of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, at No. 31 on the season-long Korn Ferry Tour Points List. The top 30 after the Korn Ferry Tour Championship will earn 2024 PGA TOUR membership – a dream Blick has been chasing since he was a kid. Blick trails Wilson Furr by one-fifth of a point for the current 30th spot, a margin as slim as they come.

    Blick opened the season with back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Bahamas, but he has slowly drifted back toward the bubble. A missed cut at last week’s Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation dropped him outside the top 30 for the first time all season.

    Cody Blick makes birdie putt at Simmons Bank Open

    For some players, that season arc might be cause to fret, but Blick has stayed true to his philosophy of keeping things loose once he arrives at a tournament. The free-spirited Californian strives to work as hard as he can during off-weeks, so that he can better accept outcomes once the competition begins.

    “I’m just happy to be here, man,” Blick said. “It’s freaking awesome. We’ve all wanted this since we were kids … Whatever happened in the past, it doesn’t matter. I’m happy to be here. Maybe it would’ve taken me a little longer to get here than I would’ve liked, but we’re here.

    “It’s kind of like Q-School … my thing at Q-School is to be happy you were there, have fun and you’re going to be ahead of everyone. I’m just going to have fun.”

    As the inherent pressure mounts, Blick’s laid-back vibe has sustained. The 29-year-old attended a Columbus Clippers baseball game Tuesday night with longtime buddy Rico Hoey, in celebration of Hoey’s 28th birthday. Blick and Hoey are sharing a rental house this week with Ryan Burnett, a buddy from back home in California who earned Korn Ferry Tour status at No. 7 on the 2023 PGA TOUR University Ranking. No need to insulate despite the implications.

    Rico Hoey and Cody Blick learn how to make sushi before Club Car Championship

    Blick said Tuesday that he doesn’t have the best memory, but it is spry enough to easily recall highlight shots. He’ll strive for new highlights this week at The Ohio State University Golf Club (Scarlet Course), which was designed by Alister MacKenzie in 1938. Blick is a MacKenzie aficionado of sorts, having frequented the likes of Pasatiempo and Meadow Club back in California as a kid. “He’s the one designer where the hole completely changes based on where the pin is,” Blick said of MacKenzie. The demanding Scarlet Course suggests some adversity will come this week, but Blick is ready to take the good with the bad.

    “You’ll always remember the super cool shots, and that’s enough,” Blick said. “All you need to remember is the times you were a superhero.”

    Blick then took a trip down memory lane to a money game last fall at TPC Sawgrass’ PLAYERS Stadium Course, where his tee shot at the par-4 15th hole drifted right, hit a tree and fell into a bunker. He faced a blind shot from 220 yards, needing to summon a high cut around the trees to a front-left hole location. His buddies were safely in the fairway, sitting pretty. Or so they thought.

    “I have a 5-wood that’s like a 235 club and I hit a high cut … I watch this thing go around the trees, and it lands like 5 feet short left of the flag, takes one hop and spins right into the hole,” Blick recalled. “Birdie doubles the bet, eagle quadruples the bet, and they had already doubled or tripled everything, so I was like, ‘Cha-ching, cha-ching,’ just racking it up.”

    Blick, who competed on PGA TOUR Canada from 2016-18, first burst onto the Korn Ferry Tour scene with a final-round 63 at Final Stage of 2018 Q-School to earn guaranteed Korn Ferry Tour starts for the first time – a day after his clubs were stolen from his rental house. Rather than sulk, he saw an opportunity to make a memory. Needing a 64 or better, he cobbled together a makeshift set of clubs and shot a heroic 63.

    Cody Blick overcomes stolen clubs to secure Web.com Tour starts

    The San Jose State alum battled back injuries for some three years – two stress fractures and multiple pulled muscles – before landing on a unique method of shock therapy featuring electrical pads and wet sponges, courtesy of good friend and former NHL player Bret Hedican. A healthy Blick regained Korn Ferry Tour status via Q-School last fall, and a strong start in the Bahamas meant a genuine chance at his first TOUR card.

    Whether it’s TOUR-sanctioned competition, a money game or even a trip to the 2011 Fortinet Championship – running onto a tee box to grab Tiger Woods’ game-used tee, which he keeps to this day in a keepsake box alongside two watches – Blick’s hero moments are vivid. With two events remaining in the Korn Ferry Tour season, he has earned the chance to author another one.

    Regardless of how the bubble shakes out, one thing is certain. He’ll relish the journey.

    “I’m really, really going to enjoy this, and whatever happens, happens,” Blick said. “Worst case, I don’t get a TOUR card; it’s still the best year of my career, and I gave myself a great shot at getting a TOUR card … I’ve got two tournaments left, and we’re going to have a blast. I promise you, we’re going to have a blast.”

    Kevin Prise is an associate editor for the PGA TOUR. He is on a lifelong quest to break 80 on a course that exceeds 6,000 yards and to see the Buffalo Bills win a Super Bowl. Follow Kevin Prise on Twitter.

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