‘Putt’ him in a good mood

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 31, 2015


Playing in his first professional golf tournament, Straughn graduate Brooks Rabren finished 5-under-par and tied for third place at the Alabama Open at Timber Creek Golf Club.


“I was pleased with how I handled myself and the way I played,” Rabren said. “I didn’t really have any great starts to any rounds, but I bounced back with birdies. It was a great confidence booster.”


Rabren said the thing he was most pleased with was his ball striking.


“I was very pleased with the way I stroked the ball with my mid-irons,” Rabren said. “My ball striking was pretty solid the who tournament. I was hitting a lot of shots that landed inside of 10 feet, and any time you can give yourself birdie attempts inside of six feet that helps a lot.”


Rabren, who will attend South Alabama in the fall on a golf scholarship, played as an amateur in the event, and was tied as the top amateur finisher in the tournament.


In the opening round, Rabren started off with a bogey on the first hole, but quickly turned things around with birdies on three of the final four holes on the front nine.


On the back nine, Rabren went bogey free, and had birdies on the 11th and 16th holes to put him at 3-under-par.


Round two Rabren picked up a birdie and eight pars on the front nine, and the shot even par on the back nine with two bogeys and two birdies for a 1-under-par finish.


Only the final day, Rabren remained strong and focused shot even par on the front nine with two bogeys and two birdies. On the back nine, Rabren turned it up a notch and went 1-under-par with two birdies and a bogey to finish the round at 1-under-par.


“I was able to put three good rounds together,” Rabren said. “Any time you can post three rounds under par in tournament like this, it is awesome. This was a great confidence booster heading into my college career.”


Rabren also said he was very pleased with his putting during the tournament.


“I tend to hit more greens than most people,” Rabren said. “So I wind up with 30 putts or more, but if I can get that down to about 27 or 28 putts a round that’s when I might shoot 62 or something. I was pleased with how I putt during the tournament, because I only had one three-putt and that was on the very first hole of the tournament.


One of the tougher things about the course were the long par-3 holes, Rabren said.


“It was a long course in general,” Rabren said. “But the par-3s were pretty long, and the greens were well protected. It was easy to miss the greens on them. I don’t think I got any birdies on the par-3s all tournament.”


Rabren will be back in action next weekend for the Hardee’s College Tournament in at Perdido Golf Club in Perdido, Fla.


“I’m excited about this next tournament,” Rabren said. “It will only be guys who are a member of a college golf team.”


When asked if he had ever played the course before Rabren said no, but that he loves the challenge of a new golf course.


“I haven’t played it before,” Rabren. “So it’s a new golf course for me with plenty of birdies left on it.”