Rabren hitting ball well, eyes next week
Brooks Rabren knew he was making good contact with the ball on Wednesday.
Instead of laying up on the long par 5 No. 17 during his third round at Selma Country Club, the Straughn High School rising junior took out his 3-wood and nailed his golf ball over the water and on the green.
From there, he two-putted for a birdie and finished his final round with a 2-over-par 73 for a 215 total and the 52nd annual Bud Burns Dixie Junior Championship title.
Driving back from Selma Wednesday night, Rabren said over the telephone that he was worn out after grinding through a 36-hole day on the course.
“I’m a little tired right now,” he said.
Rabren’s birdie on No. 17 was his second during the round, where he took advantage of Selma Country Club’s par 5s.
Laying up on the final par 5 hole of the day wasn’t an option, he said.
“I felt good about the way I was hitting the ball,” Rabren said. “I wanted to go for it.”
In fact, Rabren said he had been hitting the ball well all week.
“My ball striking was really on this week,” he said. “I hit the ball really solid. I struggled on the greens a little bit — a lot through the course of the tournament.
“I struck the ball well enough to come out on top,” he said. “I’ve just got to work on my putting a little bit, or a lot. I need to put in a lot more hours on my putting. I feel like my game will get there. I feel it’s really close to getting there.”
With the win, Rabren earned an exemption to play in the Hurricane Junior Tour Event in Birmingham on July 1-2. The entry fee has been waived for him, and all he has to do is show up and play, he said.
Other than the exemption into the junior tour event in Birmingham, Rabren received an autographed photo from 2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson, who won the Selma tournament in 1994 and 1995. In addition to Watson, and PGA Tour pros Rickie Fowler, Ben Crane and Hunter Mahan are also pictured on the photo.
The photo shows each golfer posing during a funny music video they did for charity, Rabren said.
“It’s a pretty funny picture,” he said. “It’s pretty neat.”
While Next week is going to be a busy one for Rabren.
On Monday and Tuesday, he’ll be competing in the United States Junior Amateur qualifier at Fallen Oak Country Club in Hattiesburg, Miss. Golfers have to qualify for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, which will be held July 22-27 at Martis Camp Club in Truckee, Calif.
Right when Rabren gets home from Mississippi, he’ll be trucking it to Dothan the next day for his fourth appearance at the Future Masters Tournament from Thursday to Saturday. Rabren has a practice round on Wednesday for the master’s event at Dothan Country Club.
Rabren said he feels pretty good about next week after getting the win sin Selma.
“I like that course (in Dothan),” he said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence. I feel like I have a good chance at the Future Masters.”