Tom Lang Sr. and Tom Lang Jr., are two rookies who months ago received the invite from the Shootout Competition Committee to compete in the Invitational Shootout. When Tom Sr. received the invite he was proud that the Committee recognized that he had performed well enough in 2012 to bypass the usual rookie Qualifying Round. However, Tom Sr., or Big T as he refers to himself on the links, questioned whether his son deserved similar treatment.
Tom Sr. stated, “I guess I come from a different generation where we had to work hard just to earn an opportunity to prove ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about my son competing in the Shootout and I respect the Committee’s decision. However, I just feel that young Tom has not proven that he has what it takes to compete at this level.” Tom Jr., pictured, respectfully disagreed with his father and even chided him for only playing non-challenging courses like Hickory Hills Country Club. Tom Jr. lamented that, “my father’s low scores may have impressed the Competition Committee, but playing Hickory Hills Golf Course 5 times a year does not prepare him for the difficult course set up and pressure at the Shootout.”
Regardless of where you stand on whether Big T and Jr. deserved Qualifying Round exemptions, there is little doubt that both Shootout Rookies’ nerves are frayed as they must be questioning whether they are ready to compete on golf’s grandest stage.