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The 2022/23 PGA Tour season begins this week with the Fortinet Championship, but while the field includes a handful of household names and newly qualified PGA Tour card holders, one man who didn’t expect to be in it is 30-year-old Taylor Lowe.
That was until the full-time golf professional shot a remarkable 64 in Monday’s Fortinet Championship qualifier at El Macero Country Club in California, which was enough to gain him entry into his first Tour-sanctioned event, alongside three others.
What makes Lowe stand out from his fellow qualifiers – Alex Lee, Aaron Baddeley and Seung-yul Noh – is that he is more accustomed to working at Wildhorse Golf Club near Sacramento offering golf lessons and doing inventory in the shop than rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s best players.
That's all changed this week, meaning the golf lessons Lowe provides need to take a backseat for the time being. The Californian had around 15-20 booked in over the coming days, but instead he’ll be playing at Silverado alongside the likes of current champion Max Homa and World No.16 Hideki Matsuyama. Even more remarkably, Lowe, who was an avid junior golfer before injuries took their toll, only plays once or twice a week.
Club professional Taylor Lowe only plays golf once or twice a week.He just fired a 64 @FortinetChamp's Monday Qualifier and is in prime shape to make his TOUR debut. pic.twitter.com/sMP5oFpxVsSeptember 12, 2022
Speaking to PGATour.com, Lowe credited his unlikely arrival in the spotlight on studying videos of golf instructor George Gankas on social media. He said: “I just watched George Gankas on Instagram. I’m not kidding. Growing up, taking some golf lessons here and there, I was swinging a certain way. And then I watched some videos of George Gankas on Instagram like five years ago and started playing a lot better.”
Despite the upheaval to his club, Lowe insisted that he’s received nothing but support as he prepares for his big week. He said: “My phone is vibrating a bunch right now. They’re all congratulating me.”
Understandably, Lowe's unlikely success has left him as surprised as anyone. He said: "If you’re playing good, you know you can do it. You definitely visualize and all that stuff, but I’m still in shock. It’s definitely surreal for sure.”
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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