Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

PGA rookie Jeff Klauk looks forward to tough Innisbrook course at Transitions Championship

PALM HARBOR — Jeff Klauk got an early education in the finer points of golf. His father was superintendent at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, and the youngster spent plenty of time on the challenging course.

The practice has paid off.

Klauk enters the Transitions Championship at Innisbrook as the top-earning rookie on the PGA Tour with $544,265, good for 37th place. But it's not such a surprise, considering the 31-year-old from Boynton Beach ranked third on the Nationwide Tour in 2008 with $407,418 in earnings and his resume includes an individual NCAA Division II title in 2000 for Florida Southern.

"I definitely like harder golf courses much better, so I'm looking forward to this week for sure," he said. "Growing up on the Stadium Course there at Sawgrass, it was very difficult. And it suits my game, harder golf courses."

Playing at Sawgrass, he explained, made him "a very good ball striker and a good chipper around the greens." Meanwhile, growing up as the son of the superintendent gave Klauk an appreciation of what it takes to get courses in top shape. In fact, he learned about course maintenance first-hand when he got a speeding ticket and his father, Fred, made him mow the greens and fairways to pay off the ticket.

But he and his brother started mowing the course to earn money for their entry fees. "I think it made us appreciate things a lot more," he said.

Later, PGA star Rocco Mediate, a Florida Southern graduate, prevailed on Klauk to attend the school, and he became a key part of the three-time Division II national championship team, earning player of the year in 2000.

Nine years later, the Sawgrass Kid is still mowing 'em down.

BRADLEY OUT: Valrico's Michael Bradley withdrew Tuesday morning. Bradley, 42, is fresh off a win at the Puerto Rico Open, his first PGA Tour win in 11 years. By finishing in the top 10, Bradley qualified to play in Palm Harbor. He earned $630,000 for his win in Puerto Rico. He'll be replaced by David Berganio Jr.

MISCELLANY: The Transitions Pro-Am begins this morning at 7:50, with defending champion Sean O'Hair and Kenny Perry teeing off on the Copperhead Course. Other notables include Retief Goosen (1 p.m.) and Stuart Appleby (2:30). … Steve LeBrun won a five-hole playoff at Fox Hollow to secure the final Monday qualifier spot.

Times staff writer Rodney Page contributed to this report.

Transitions parking

PGA rookie Jeff Klauk looks forward to tough Innisbrook course at Transitions Championship 03/17/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 10:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Orioles, with Cobb on hill, Beckham in lineup


    UPDATE, 3:46: After sitting out Thursday in recovering from extraction of a tooth, former Rays SS Tim Beckham is in the Orioles lineup tonight for his first game against his ex-mates, batting leadoff and playing short.

  2. Bucs defensive end Chris Baker (90) is seen during training camp last month at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs' defensive attributes in opener included flexibility


    TAMPA — It's a blink-and-you-miss-it nuance, but in Sunday's opener against Chicago, on their very first defensive snap, the Bucs lined up in a 3-4 defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter shakes hands with cornerback Brent Grimes (24) before an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  4. Bucs-Vikings: What if O.J. Howard and Dalvin Cook had both been taken?


    So what if the Bucs had taken neither O.J. Howard nor Dalvin Cook with the 19th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft?

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) makes a reception as Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) tackles him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Wish the Bucs had taken Dalvin Cook? Read this


    It will happen sometime Sunday afternoon.

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball in the second quarter Monday night, Sept. 11, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.  (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)