Robby and Bryan Bigley of Rotterdam. Each went to Siena College. Now Robby is a teacher and outstanding amateur player while Bryan is still chasing his dream of the PGA Tour. Photo submitted.
STILL CHASING HIS DREAM
By Bob Weiner
In his continuing quest to fulfill a lifetime dream by earning a berth on the PGA Tour some day, Bryan Bigley needed some insurance to help pay the bills. So he recently became an insurance agent to augment his paychecks.
The 32-year-old Schalmont High School and Siena College graduate currently is 150th on the Web.com Tour money list with just $1,653 through four events. He made the cut in the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club by shooting rounds of 70 and 72 in the first two rounds but finished with rounds of 75 and 73 for a 2-over-par 290.
In his other three events, he struggled with a pair of 90s in the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay, but then just missed the cut in his other two events, the Club Columbia Championships by Servientrega (74-71) and the Panama Claro Championship (70-72). A pro since 2008 on various mini tours, the PGA Latino Tour and the Web.com Tour last year, Bigley doesn’t have a sponsor, so he can use as much added income off the course as possible.
“I don’t have a sponsor. I’m still trying to do it all on my own,” Bigley said. “So I travel as cheaply as possible. Obviously, on the PGA Latino Tour, I can’t drive to any of the courses. It’s tough.”
A JOB’S A JOB
Bigley spent last weekend caddying for a friend for the Web.com Tour stop in Indiana.
“I went and got an insurance license,” he explained. “I’m trying to sell life and disability insurance. Luckily, a buddy of mine has his own company, and he sells a lot of disability insurance to pro athletes. So, that’s what I’m doing on the side. It’s funny, when I was caddying for this buddy of mine, he gave me his business card and we Tweeted pictures of it. The next day, Golf Digest wrote a piece about it.”
Bryan Bigley is playing again on the Web.com Tour. Photo: PGA Tour.
Bigley demonstrated that he belongs with the big boys when he played 18 events on the Web.com Tour – the official feeder system for the PGA Tour – last year. He made 10 cuts, 2 top-10s and 3 top-25s, finishing 77th on the money list with $59,318.
GAME IN GOOD SHAPE
Except for his first tournament, he’s been playing solidly for the most part so far this season, and he feels he’s close to making some more money. “I’ve had chances to shore up my status, and I came close to getting my card in the final event of the Q-School,” he noted. “I played well in the Bahamas but then missed the cut by a shot. I’ve definitely had my chances, but golf is funny. There is always a fine line out here between playing well and just missing the cut.”
Bigley said his game is in excellent shape, but that he has to capitalize more on his opportunities to notch more birdies. “It’s all about scoring out here,” he said. “I get to 1-, 2- or 3-under par, but then I can’t get over the hump. I’m playing well enough, but golf is just tough. When you’re in the zone, it’s easy, and you seem to get all the breaks. But if you hit a couple of loose shots, sometimes it keeps going wrong. It’s a matter of putting it all together. I’m still working hard on my game. I’ll be back on the Latin America Tour the next two weeks. I’ve been down there enough so that I’m over not feeling comfortable. A lot of the guys still aren’t used to it, but it’s going to be a big couple of weeks for me to see if I can make some more money.”
Bigley said he will also get more opportunities on the Web.com Tour when that tour reshuffles its eligibility for those who don’t have full-time playing privileges.
Bryan Bigley talks with reporters Bob Weiner and Pete Dougherty after shooting 71 at Mohawk Golf Club on Monday, May 9, 2016 in the U.S. Open qualifier.
QUICK TRIP HOME?
If everything goes smoothly in his next two tournaments on the PGA Latino Tour, he still plans on coming back to the Capital Area to compete in the U.S. Open Local Qualifier May 17 at Shaker Ridge Country Club.
“That’s the plan right now,” he said. “We’ve got to see how the weather looks, because if there is some bad weather I can’t take the chance on not getting back in time on tour. But right now, I’m looking forward to playing Shaker Ridge. I haven’t played there since they redid their greens a few years ago. I’ll probably come up there on Tuesday for a practice round, play in the qualifier and then leave the next day.”