Nov. 20, 2006
Lipscomb golf coach Buddy Harston qualified over the weekend for the Champions Tour.
The Champions Tour was formerly known as the Senior PGA Tour and just completed its 27th season.
Harston finished 27th, shooting a 4-over 292 for four rounds at the TPC-Eagle's Trace Golf Course in Coral Springs, Fla. The top 30 players qualify for the tour.
The top 30 finish expands Harston's chances for making the field for a Champions Tournament. Each Monday of a tournament week Harston will be able to play for one of nine tournament spots. In the past he has been able to play for one of two openings.
Harston advanced to the finals after finishing 10th In a regional qualifying tournament at Milton, Fla., two weeks ago. It was the first time he had qualified for the finals in four years of competition.
The top 23 p[layers from the Milton regional tournament advanced to the finals. There were 90 golfers competing for the 30 spots at the finals.
Harston credited the advice of sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella with helping him keep his focus.
"We talked every night," Harston said. "He told me what I had to do was downplay the importance of it. He told me to stay in the present and not get ahead of myself.
"I knew I had to hit each shot. It was par after par. I putted well. I played a steady game. I couldn't worry about the scoreboard. I never checked it. I knew if I played well I would be in the hunt."
Harston, who coaches both the men's and women's teams at Lipscomb, might be the only college coach who is also playing on a professional tour.
Harton's presence on a professional tour also helps promote the Lipscomb program. He always wears a Lipscomb shirt in a tournament and his ability to make the tour curt also is a strong indication that his players are learning from someone who is still competing at a high level.
"I would think this is a boost to the program," Harston said. "People will sse our logo on the courses I play."