KORN FERRY TOUR INSIDER
Landry finds strength in grandfather's spirit
February 01, 2017
By Jarrod Heil, PGATOUR.COM
- February 01, 2017
- Andrew Landry shares the Web.com Tour money lead after an emotional victory at The Abaco Club. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
To say Andrew Landry’s past two months have been average would be a severe understatement.
The 29-year-old capped the crazy chain of events with a three-stroke victory at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club, honoring the legacy of his 91-year-old grandfather, George Kimball, who had passed away earlier in the month.
“I just found it kind of ironic that it was (shortly after) he died and we’re walking off with a victory,” said Landry, who closed with a 5-under 67 at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay. “He was sitting there suffering, so it was a blessing for him to go. You can take it in a super negative way, or you can take it in a positive way.”
Kimball had always been a sports fan and routinely made it to the golf course to watch Landry play. When he got older and couldn’t travel well anymore, he watched Landry’s tournaments on the Internet or on TV.
When Landry was about 11 years old, Kimball had quadruple bypass surgery and was on a ventilator for about eight months, fighting for his life. So every time Landry would win a local junior event, he would bring him the first-place pin he had won.
“He was definitely a big-time role model for me as a fighter,” Landry said. “He passed that trait down to my mom and it was passed down to me.”
Andrew Landry interview winning Great Abaco
There was no better place to showcase that fighting trait that remains in the family’s lineage than The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, where poor weather conditions led to a historic level of difficulty on the Web.com Tour. Landry shot an opening-round 87, lost his grandfather, and eventually missed the cut.
Exuma was supposed to be a honeymoon for Landry and his wife Elizabeth, who got married five days before a Q-School that Landry wasn’t even planning on attending.
“We took that as a wash week for golf and we took that as a wash week for a honeymoon,” Landry said. “Beautiful place, but it was just a brutal trip.”
Without taking much time off from golf in almost two years, Landry needed a break because he was simply worn out. With the wedding and short offseason, he decided it was the time. It was an added bonus that he wasn’t planning on attending Final Stage of Q-School.
He got married in Cancun, Mexico, on December 3, flew directly from the wedding to Q-School in Orlando, Florida, on December 5, and teed it up three days later with minimal time to practice and prepare.
“I was super unprepared for Q-School. I was really nervous about it, had some anxiety about it going into the week,” Landry said. “I couldn’t sleep on Sunday night. Having to leave on Monday, I was just like, ‘All the guys are already there, they’ve already played practice rounds.’”
Andrew Landry wins the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic
Landry won his first college event at Orange County National’s Crooked Cat course, one of two courses Final Stage was contested at, but he said he didn’t really remember the course very well.
“I remember a few holes of it, but I definitely don’t remember it playing as hard as what it was,” he said.
He finished with two birdies in the final four holes, finishing 4 under on the day and 3 under for the tournament, and made the mark on the number to guarantee himself eight starts to begin the 2017 season.
Landry’s goal is to make enough money before the summer swing so he can pick and choose which tournaments to play during the 13-week stretch of 13 consecutive tournaments to close the Regular Season. He said he’d like to play stretches of three consecutive weeks, followed by a week off, during that time.
Winning the second tournament of the season, he’s well on his way to earning his PGA TOUR card back.