KORN FERRY TOUR INSIDER
Crick earns The RSM Classic berth via Monday qualifier
November 18, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Nebraska native Brandon Crick stands No. 78 on the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points List. (Ben Jared/PGA TOUR)
The importance of one week, one phone call, or one solid performance is something Brandon Crick knows intimately.
And Crick has earned another opportunity this week on the PGA TOUR.
Crick, who sits 78th on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List heading into the 2021 portion of the schedule, Monday qualified for this week’s TOUR event, The RSM Classic. The Nebraska native survived a 4-for-2 playoff on Tuesday morning (Crick and Josh Teater advanced; Brad Adamonis and Jay McLuen fell short.)
This will mark Crick’s second career TOUR start, and first since the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion during a “rough” week – as he was unsure about pursing professional golf at all.
“I have to be honest. It was a very tough golf course. I qualified through when I was working full- or part-time with a job on the side, so my game wasn’t quite where it is like now,” said Crick. “I think the main thing to take from that week is I just need to learn a little bit and have fun. I was very stressed out all week and anxious and nervous.
“I needed to take it easy and breath and relax. I’m just going to have fun out there this week.”
A year ago, Crick had missed five cuts in a row through the summer and was staring down the barrel of a return to Q-School. But he finished runner-up at the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae, then T15 the following week in Portland, and he had locked up Korn Ferry Tour status for 2020-21.
“It was awesome. It was definitely a sigh of relief. They always say that it only takes one good week. It proved that week,” said Crick. “I definitely have a lot of confidence after last year and a little more belief in myself that I can do it and I belong there.”
Crick said he’s been feeling “close” with his game through the latter portion of the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour calendar. He just missed out on Monday qualifying for the Bermuda Championship, and was a shot out of a playoff at the Houston Open Monday qualifier, as well. He birdied his final hole this week to get into a playoff, and nailed another birdie to stamp his ticket to The RSM Classic.
“I try not to put it on a pedestal, even though it’s pretty easy to do that,” said Crick of this week’s TOUR opportunity. “I’ve played a lot of Korn Ferry Tour events in the last few years and played in the U.S. Open in 2013 – I’ve had experience but not quite on this level.
“I’m excited to get another opportunity to see what I can do out on a bigger level than even the Korn Ferry Tour.”
Six years ago, Brandon Crick (@BCrick22) worked in the cart barn @IndianCreekCrse.— Korn Ferry Tour (@KornFerryTour) July 17, 2019
Now he returns to his old stomping grounds looking for his first-career #KornFerryTour title.#LiveUnderPar pic.twitter.com/JNhFibH0y5
Crick said he’s been happy, overall, with how his year went. He’s playing a lot more weekends than the year prior (14 made cuts in 21 events, versus 11-of-20 made cuts in 2019) and he’s looking forward to building on the bits of success that he’s had so far. Every year, he said, he’s getting better and a bit more knowledgeable about his game and the courses.
There was a time for Crick, however, when playing professional golf might have not been a viable option at all. He was chasing the professional golf dream and working at the golf shop of Firethorn Golf Club in Lincoln, Nebraska when he met television personality, comic, and noted golfer Larry the Cable Guy – who is also from Nebraska. The pair had a conversation about Larry sponsoring Crick, but Crick said he didn’t think much about it. He was interviewing for what he called “a big-boy job” in an office.
On the way to one of his interviews, Larry the Cable Guy called him and was interested in sponsoring him after all.
That year, Crick advanced through Q-School, and he has held Korn Ferry Tour status – be it conditional or full – the last five years.
The University of Nebraska alum – he ended up getting that degree after all – has four top-25 finishes this season, including a T10 at the Korn Ferry Tour Challenge at TPC Sawgrass when the season got moving again after the COVID-19 break.I definitely have a lot of confidence after last year, and a little more belief in myself that I can do it.
The battle against COVID-19 is something he knows intimately, as his wife is a floor nurse at a hospital in his hometown of McCook, Nebraska. It’s a tough job, Crick said, and he holds even more respect for medical professionals and front-line workers after seeing what his wife goes through at the hospital. The town (pop: 7,000) is still where Crick calls home, despite the travel difficulties it sometimes poses being four hours from both Denver and Omaha.
“Flying and travel days can be a bit hectic,” said Crick. “But it’s worth it. I enjoy being in a small town. It’s got a nice feeling, especially during these times.”
And what’s even more special for him is the fact that the 2020-21 Regular Season finale will take place right there in Omaha.
“First thing I thought when the news came out … how cool would that be walking off the green with a TOUR card? That’s the end goal for next year,” said Crick. “But I wouldn’t be hurt if something great happens this week too.”