Chelsea resident finishes first PGA Tour event

Published 10:00 am Monday, January 16, 2012

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

Gary Christian planned to approach the tee box on hole No. 10 at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii with the same ease he typically has before the start of a round of golf Jan. 12.

Christian, a 40-year-old rookie on the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour who makes his home in Chelsea, just couldn’t do it. The pressure of playing on golf’s biggest stage left butterflies in his stomach as he approached his first shot on the tour.

“The anticipation was the hardest thing,” Christian said. “It wasn’t the easiest part playing the role of a 40-year-old rookie.”

The Carshalton, England native fired a 3-over par 73 in his opening round, which left him 10 strokes back of tournament leader Graham DeLaet following the first day  of the tournament.

Christian fired another 3-over par 73 in the second round to finish with a 6-over par 146, which left him seven strokes behind the cut.

Christian finished with three birdies and an eagle in his first two rounds on the PGA Tour.

Christian earned a PGA Tour card following his victory at the Mylan Classic at Southpointe Golf Club on the Nationwide Tour last September. Christian, a former All-American at Wallace State Community College who also played at Auburn University, made his PGA Tour debut after spending six years on the Nationwide Tour.

Despite the nerves surrounding his first tournament, Christian said he enjoyed his first experience on the PGA Tour on a course overlooking some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

“Obviously, I was pretty excited,” Christian said. “Not many people who dream of doing a job at age 6 get to do that job.”