Today is Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lebanon native hopeful for pro golf dreams

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By CHELSEA BURNETTThe Wilson Post Mack Ed Tucker has high hopes for his future as a professional golfer. The 40-year-old Lebanon native is attempting to qualify for the PGA Tournament and become a full-time professional player. Tucker, who was introduced to the game of golf by his father, began playing at the age of 5 and has not set the clubs down since. Noting his past, he said it has always revolved around golf and striving to be the best he can be. Tucker, who now lives in California, ventures back to Lebanon only a few times a year as his schedule is full of tournaments. He journeys all across the nation, competing on a weekly basis. “I’m really gearing up for this to be just a phenomenal year,” said Tucker, who meets with his swing coach at least once a month when he’s on the road and several times a week when he’s at home in Sacramento. In describing the steps to qualify for the PGA, Tucker admits it is a lengthy process. He has to do extremely well in tournaments throughout the year before beginning the PGA Qualification School in the fall, where there are three stages to complete before admittance is granted into the PGA.Tucker is no stranger to the competitiveness of the school having turned pro in Hawaii in 1991 and successfully making it to the second stage in the ’90s before getting “blown out,” as he puts it.So how exactly did he get this miraculous second chance to achieve his dream? In January of this year Tucker was participating in a tournament alongside pro golfers such as John Daly and Vijay Singh when he had a chance encounter with a particular ad-on in his group. The ad-on, an owner of a Fortune 500 Company in Chicago, took a liking to Tucker and gave him his business card requesting that he call him. Tucker did and soon found himself being flown to Chicago for a meeting. By the end of the meeting, he had landed himself a hefty paycheck and a superb sponsor. “He really just gave me the royal treatment and completely freed me up for the season so I can really focus on my game,” Tucker said enthusiastically. “Because of him I’m able to take full advantage of it and I’m not taking it for granted at all,” he added. Tucker is undoubtedly in store for a busy year. He admits to “living out of a suitcase” and only being home a handful of times a month. He also has a meeting in the works to possibly be sponsored by a sports agency that specializes in representing NFL players but wishes to expand the company to serve professional golfers as well.“Everything’s really starting to click and I feel really good about where it’s going,” he says. “It’s just the biggest rush.”Staff Writer Chelsea Burnett may be reached at chelsea@wilsonpost.com.
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