BRENTWOOD, Tenn.—It wasn’t quite the week that Jake Owen wanted, but in no way, shape or form did a couple of disappointing rounds ruin a dream week for the country music star at the Nashville Golf Open.
Owen finished his final round—one started Friday, but was suspended due to weather—on Saturday morning at the Nashville Golf & Athletic Club. Owen shot an 86 for the second-straight day and failed to make the cut for Round 3.
His rounds, part of the web.com tour, were under a spotlight from beginning to end.
Owen got a sponsor exemption to play in the tournament. That drew some criticism after he finished last among the 156 participants in Thursday’s Round 1.
Owen used the criticism for good, turning it into a campaign to raise money for charity. Among others, PGA golfer Brandt Snedeker and music star Chris Young, agreed to pledge money to charity for every birdie Owen had in Round 2.
Owen was able to par six holes in Round 2, but a birdie proved elusive.
Owen’s last hole, a par four, typified the frustrations of his experience. His tee shot went into the rough, and a line of trees prevented Owen from having a direct shot at the green.
So, Owen used a long iron to punch out on to the fairway. The ensuing shot sailed into the upslope of a steep bunker in front of the green, just below the grassy lip.
It was about as tough a lie as one can get. Had Owen hit it low, it would have come right back at his feet.
He didn’t make that mistake.
The shot sailed well over the pin off some windows on the second story of the grandstand. Somehow, it didn’t hit one of about a half-dozen people standing in front of those windows, before it bounced back into the rough behind the pin.
Owen finished the hole with a double-bogey, but didn’t seem to put a dent into his good nature or his sense of humor. As Owen approached his second shot, he turned to gallery and deadpanned, “Do any of you want to hit this shot?” which got some laughs.
He was still smiling after the round ended, and offered these thoughts before leaving the venue.
“I thought about this all tournament, even though I was struggling: I literally was so thankful to even have the opportunity to be out here, playing with these guys. All through the round, I was asking (playing partner) Steve Wheatcroft, ‘What can I do to get better?’ and he gave me some great points.
“All through the week, I tried as hard as I could to get some money for Brandt and the foundation. But hopefully, although we didn’t raise the money because I went birdie-less, we did bring a lot of people out, and people enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it.
“Again… I shot another 86—I got 86’ed out here again! I’ve even able to do some pretty cool things in my life. This is definitely on the list of one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of.
“At the end of the day, the score doesn’t matter. My mom and dad were out here, they walked around and watched me. My friends were out here supporting me. As a competitor, it’s a bummer, but I’m so thankful to every player out here, and every person who works at web.com and PGA, and for them to give me a spot out here means a lot to me.”
Former Lipscomb star Armstrong makes the cut
Wheatcroft (even) also failed to make the cut, but Owen’s other playing partner, Brentwood native and former Lipscomb star Dawson Armstrong, did.
Armstrong finished Round 2 with a 67, and ended his round at seven-under for the event.
Armstrong is scheduled to tee off Round 3 at 11:31 Central on Saturday morning.