By Natalie Gilmore
Finding the balance between PGA tour caddy and amateur player, Corby Segal has put the Santa Clarita Valley on the map in the golf world once again. Segal qualified for the 2018 U.S. Amateur Golf Tournament as of July 23 at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles.
The Santa Clarita native has 19 years of experience as a caddy on the PGA Tour. He has worked for professional players with well-known names such as Briny Baird, Tom Hoge , Brandt Jobe, Bob Burns, Woody Austin, Kevin Stadler, Brent Geiberger, and Carl Paulson. Segal is currently a caddy on the tour for professional Brandon Hagy.
“The player that I currently work for hasn’t been playing much lately because of injury,” Segal said. “This enabled me to play a lot more tournament golf. I played well and gained a lot of confidence in my game and in tournaments.”
In the U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifying, Segal shot five under par with a first round score of 70 and a second round score of 67. The Wilshire Country Club course par is set at 71, instead of the usual 72. His qualifying round total was 137, three strokes ahead of his competition.
“At 47 years old, I don’t expect to win the U.S. Amateur Tournament but to qualify and compete with these college students and younger adults is fun,” Segal said. “To be able to compete is half the battle.”
The Cal State Northridge alumnus leads the 2018 Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) Player of the Year standings with 1095 points in six tournaments.
“The U.S. Amateur is a young person’s tournament. To be able to get into that field based on my own play means the world to me. College students qualify based on rankings from college tournaments, so it’s built for the younger players,” Segal said. “There’s only about 10-15 players over 40 years old in that field. And to be one of those for all of the United States is pretty special.”
In the 2017 U.S. Amateur tournament, Segal shot a 2-over 72 at Bel-Air Country Club that put him at 8-over after two rounds, good for a share of 120th place. The top 64 players moved on.
“My dream was always to play on the PGA Tour,” Segal said. “I don’t hit the ball far enough for that, but I hit it straight enough and putt well enough to play compete in the amateur.”
Segel will be working as a caddy during the days leading up to the Amateur tournament at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, Calif.
“If [Hagy] makes the cut, I don’t know that I would even get a practice round for the tournament,” Segel said. “I would work straight into the tournament.”
The U.S. Amateur Tournament is hosted in beautiful Pebble Beach, Calif. at both the Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course on August 13-19.
“It’s my goal every time I tee up in a tournament to play my best for myself and my family and community,” Segel said. “I won’t have many more opportunities to do this, so I am going to play as well as I can.”