Local Golfer Will Gordon Tees It Up in the PGA
Many sports fans in Davidson have been going through withdrawal during COVID-19. Over the past few months, watching re-runs of Davidson Wildcat basketball or other events became par for the course. In mid-June, professional golf returned to the scene. With no spectators at the courses, it was different – but it was real, live golf.
Then on Friday, June 26, things got far more interesting for local sports fans. For those watching tournament play on the Golf Channel, several announcers started talking about Davidson.
Will Gordon, 23, who grew up in Davidson, started lighting it up at the Travelers Championship held at the TPC River Highlands course in Cromwell, Connecticut. River Highlands is a par 70, 6,841 yard course. Tournament champions include: Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Stewart Cink, and Phil Mickelson. Gordon had earned a sponsors’ exemption for the tournament, and certainly made the best of it.
Gordon played college golf at Vanderbilt, graduating in 2019 with a degree in Human and Organizational Development. He was a three-time All-American and was named SEC Player of the Year in 2019.
Gordon shot an 8 under par 62 on Friday, the best round of the day. He had finished play on Thursday with a 4 under par 66. With the two-round 12 under par, Gordon had second place on the leaderboard – right behind Phil Mickelson at 13 under par.
For fans glued to their TV, computers, or phones on Saturday, they got to watch Gordon play alongside “Lefty.” Golf Channel commentators had fun with all the comparative statistics between the two. Mickelson just turned 50, and has played more than 620 PGA events. Gordon is 23, and this was his eighth PGA start. The best comparison was a graphic that showed Phil Mickelson winning the Travelers Championship in 2001 – Will Gordon was 4 years old at the time.
Both Mickelson and Gordon shot 71, 1 over par for their rounds on Saturday.
Gordon turned up the heat again for the final round – he played the round alongside Jon Rahm. At the end of play on Sunday, Gordon was 17 under par, tied for third. Over the course of the 4 rounds he shot 66, 62, 71, and 64. The third-place finish earned Gordon a “Special Temporary Membership” for the remainder of the PGA season. It also earned him a paycheck of $436,600.
The 6’ 3” Gordon had an average driving distance of 312.9 yards, hit 81.94% greens in regulation, and had a 64.29% driving accuracy. On Sunday he had 1 bogey, 10 pars, and 7 birdies. He also had an amazing 92.86% driving accuracy – with an average driving distance of 324 yards.
COVID-19 PGA rules meant that the tournament press conferences were held remotely, with the players standing in front of microphones responding to moderators off-site.
Will was asked about his round on Friday and he said: “I just tried to come into today with a really positive mindset and aggressive mindset. And I was able to do that, and execute early. Whenever I get that momentum early, I usually don’t let go. So, I was pretty proud of myself and how I hung in there early.”
When asked about the impact of the COVID-19 break from tournament play, Will Gordon noted that he stayed “tuned up” because he was able to have Charlotte native Webb Simpson as a mentor. They played a lot of rounds and were joined by player Harold Varner III who grew up in Gastonia. He wrapped up that media availability by saying, “I think the more I’m around those guys, I just get more confident.”
After the round on Sunday, Gordon said “I’m just trying to play the best golf I can.”
Keep up the great golf Will Gordon – the fans in Davidson are cheering you on.
In other exciting Davidson golfing news, the LPGA’s Symetra Tour will hold their season-finale Tour Championship at River Run November 3-6. The Symetra Classic was previously scheduled to be held at River Run May 13-15.