The way Mike Hulbert sees it, thank goodness for Davis Love III’s advice and caffeine.
Hulbert, a three-time PGA Tour winner and twice an assistant U.S. Ryder Cup captain, got into last week’s Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Fla., on a sponsor exemption. As it turned out, that was the easy part. Getting to the tournament, though, was something of a trains-planes-automobiles adventure.
Hulbert played in the three-day Pebble Beach Pro-Am Invitational the previous weekend, then took a Sunday night redeye flight back to his hometown of Orlando. He arrived at 5:30 a.m. Monday. Problem was, he had committed to an Allianz Pro-Am with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start that day.
So it was time to get busy. Hulbert went home for about an hour, repacked, took his 15-year-old son to school, loaded up his SUV and then sped south down Florida’s Turnpike starting at 8 a.m. He made the trip in a quick 2 hours, 20 minutes, in time even to visit the equipment trailer to get his set tweaked.
“If you’re not going between 80 and 85 mph (on the turnpike), you’re getting blown off the road,” Hulbert said.
What got him through the whole trip?
“5-Hour Energy (drink) saved me,” he said. “I talked with Davis (Love III) on the way down, and he told me to take 5-Hour Energy. So the tournament director had two of them waiting in my locker. I sucked one down and was ready to go.”
By 6 p.m., though, he was ready to go to the bed.
“I was a zombie,” he said.
Hulbert would go on to tie for 47th and earn $5,940 in the Allianz at the Old Course at Broken Sound. He is playing on a sponsor exemption again this week at the ACE Group Classic in Naples, Fla.