It’s been quite a month for Turk Pettit, and not in a good way.
Yes, the Clemson freshman has had a strong opening season for the Tigers, one in which he’s won once and finished in the top 3 four other times. He was ranked 32nd by Golfweek heading into the NCAA Championship.
But then you consider all that’s transpired recently. Pettit was getting in some practice last Friday at Clemson’s golf facility and put his clubs in front of his locker.
When he returned the following morning, his bag wasn’t there. For the next 90 minutes, he searched for his sticks – looking in his truck and checking his apartment as well. It soon became apparent, though, that his clubs had been stolen just days before traveling to NCAAs.
“I was just like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’ ” Pettit said.
Pettit told his coaches and reported the incident to police. Nothing has come of his clubs so far, and Pettit isn’t optimistic about their return.
“They’re gone,” Pettit said. “They’re probably in Idaho right now or something.”
Assistant coach Jordan Byrd did salvage the blow, though. Pettit described to Byrd his old clubs and what he needed, and by Tuesday he had a new bag and clubs ready to go.
But Pettit got to practice with them for just a single day before heading to Stillwater, and he shot 81 in the opening round. He was subsequently subbed out of the lineup in the second round for William Nottingham.
It’s tempting for Pettit to lambast his bad luck, but he says the replacement clubs feel basically the same as his old sticks.
“I just didn’t play good,” he said. “I’m not going to blame it on the clubs.”
This actually isn’t his first equipment issue this spring. Roughly four weeks ago, Pettit felt he was making good swings with his driver, but the ball kept sailing alarmingly right. He then hit about 10 shots with one of his teammate’s clubs and the ball went relatively straight. Pettit realized his driver was broken and had it replaced.
That new big stick is now gone thanks to last week’s events.
“I’ve had a very good month, let’s just say that,” Pettit quipped.
Now he turns to cheering on Clemson at nationals. But he can still be substituted back into the lineup in subsequent rounds.
“If I play again, hopefully I’ll be ready,” Pettit said.