HONOLULU – Both Brandt Jobe and Jesper Parnevik have been subtle forces on the PGA Tour at some point in their careers. While their success may have been noteworthy – Jobe with three runner-up finishes in his career, Parnevik with five victories – they both have fallen off the PGA Tour map.
Jobe (unfortunate accident) and Parnevik (back injury) are fighting to make a comeback, and both took a small step in that quest by making the cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
After undergoing three wrist surgeries in the last three years, Jobe is a typical Tour grinder. He has been put back together more than Humpty Dumpty, and by all accounts should be home in Texas, not playing competitively on the PGA Tour.
In 2006, Jobe sliced the tips of his middle and index fingers on his left hand after the broomstick he was using broke in half. After surgery and rehab, Jobe tried to make a comeback at the PODS Championship in 2007, starting the long climb back to a PGA Tour card.
“I tried to come back and play four events and tore my wrist apart. I shouldn’t have played. I couldn’t feel my fingers and couldn’t close them,” Jobe said after the first round of the Sony. “So (that) big mistake and three more surgeries after that to my wrist, and I really just had to wait until my fingers totally healed and they weren’t numb.”
The fingers are still numb, and always throbbing with pain, but Jobe rebuilt his golf swing so he doesn’t have to feel the shaft of the club with the damaged fingers; instead, he relies on his body to control the club.
After a full-year stint on the Nationwide Tour in 2010, Jobe started to feel very comfortable with his new swing, but barely missed the top 25 – and his card. It took six rounds at Q-School, but Jobe in back on the PGA Tour, sporting a game with which he feels he can now compete.
For Parnevik, it was almost a year ago that the Swede had back surgery. At the time he thought it would be career-ending. But it wasn’t.
Eventually Parnevik learned that the surgery would still allow him to play, but in 2010 he played sparingly, and with very little success. Last year he played in only five events on the PGA Tour, and in those handful of events Parnevik made only one cut, a T-72 at the season-ending Children’s Miracle Network Classic. That made cut was the first since Parnevik finished T-59 at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.
Over the last two seasons, Parnevik has played in 19 events, making only six cuts and never contending.
In hopes of getting his career back on track, Parnevik opened up at the Sony, a place he knows very well (this marks his 16th appearance).
“I haven’t played this well in 10 years,” Parnevik said Saturday, after posting a two-round total of 4-under 136. “The back is very sore right now, and it gets stiffer and stiffer as the round goes on.”
Having only played sparingly, Parnevik was unsure how things would go this week. His back was very sore after Monday’s pro-am, and with the rain-out on Thursday, Sunday’s 36-hole marathon was not exactly what Parnevik was looking for.
“I came here and had no idea what to expect and see if I could play 36 holes,” Parnevik said. “Making the cut was well over my expectations.”
Parnevik struggled on Sunday, but he was in line for his best finish since a T-42 at the Buick Invitational in 2009. It also marked the first time he has made consecutive cuts since the Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship in September 2008.
Now, Parnevik is off to the Bob Hope, where he won in 2000.