2004: PGA Tour - Geiberger secures card, makes history
It was Brent Geiberger’s day at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, and not just because he won the same tournament his father did in 1976.
Yes, it was special to Brent Geiberger, the adopted son of Al Geiberger, to be part of the only father-son duo to win the same tournament on the PGA Tour. But there was a more tangible and immediate reason for celebration Oct. 17.
Going into the tournament, Brent Geiberger was No. 144 on the Tour earnings list, and his victory secured a two-year Tour exemption. He won $828,000 in Greensboro, moving him to No. 52 in earnings, and there was another financial gain: He won’t have to pay the $3,500 entry fee to Qualifying School because he no longer will need to attend. Actually, Geiberger already had submitted his fee, but he’s expecting a refund.
“It was a month, five weeks ago (Sept. 17) I think it was due,” he said before delivering the punch line. “(But) I know you can get your money back.”
Geiberger shot 66 Oct. 17 to finish 18 under par and win by two strokes over Michael Allen, who also had reason to savor the day. Allen, along with third-place finisher Chris Smith, vaulted high enough on the money list to earn a 2005 card. Allen earned $496,800 and is now 84th on the list; Smith pocketed $312,800 and moved from No. 152 to No. 110 in earnings.
“I’m definitely relieved, I can tell you that,” said Allen, 45, who has been to Q-School 11 times. “I can’t believe they’re going to give me a half-million dollars. What a good time.”
Added an equally relieved Smith: “I can breathe again. It’s a lot of misery this year, and that’s come to an end. I really couldn’t be happier. I’m happy with the way I performed, and I did it under a lot of pressure.”
But it was Geiberger who had the most to celebrate. He has been struggling with a nerve condition that causes numbness in his arm, a bone spur in his right heel and a case of vertigo that plagues him occasionally. In fact, he took medication Sunday to stave off the vertigo and said he “felt a little funky” on the putting green before he teed off.
In spite of all the obstacles, Geiberger persevered and made a little history in the process. In 1998, the Geibergers became the first and only father-son tandem to play in the same PGA Championship. A year later, after Brent earned his first career victory (Hartford Open), they became one of five duos to earn PGA Tour victories. Now, another Geiberger milestone.
“It’s pretty neat to be able to put my name on a trophy with my dad,” Brent Geiberger said. “I always – and I still do – look up to my dad.”
Al Geiberger, who was playing in the Champions Tour’s SBC Championship, followed his son’s progress from San Antonio.
“I didn’t want to call him because he was on a roll and I didn’t want to jinx him,” Al Geiberger said. “It’s just wonderful to see him win in the same place that I did.”