Donald Constable hasn’t won a thing on the PGA Tour – far from it. Yet the way he bounced back from an inauspicious beginning to his professional debut at the Sony Open was a small victory in his book.
Constable, a former Gopher and Minnesota high school golf champion, finished his round 2-over-par 72 on Thursday. It’s not great, but considering he found himself 3 over par just six holes into his career at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu he’s not complaining too much.
“I went into the day nervous and excited; I just didn’t want to screw up,” Constable said later by phone.
Starting on the back nine, the 23-year-old lefthander carded a routine par on his first hole but made bogey on the par-3 11th after sending his tee shot into a bunker. He then cracked a 3-wood out of bounds off the tee on No. 15 leading to a double bogey.
“I knew the only thing to do was settle down,” Constable said. “I had to tell myself, ‘Let’s go.’”
Go he did, making nine straight pars after his miscue.
“My dad always told me after a mistake to get right back on track,” Constable said. “I felt I made some good shots on the [front] nine.”
His patience was rewarded.
Constable finally enjoyed a legitimate highlight as a professional late in the day. Using a 6-iron into a right-left wind on the 177-yard par-3 seventh hole at Waialae, Constable put his tee shot 15 feet from the cup. With Golf Channel cameras rolling he knocked the putt true for his first birdie.
“The greens were slow and grainy,” he said. “I made sure that one got to the hole.”
The 72 leaves Constable 10 shots off the pace set by fellow Tour rookie Scott Langley, a former Illinois golfer whom Constable dined with earlier Thursday.
“That’s pretty cool to see,” Constable said of Langley’s 8-under-par 62, which leads the field of 144 by a stroke.
Though well out of contention Constable doesn’t feel he blew his chances for a shot at making the cut and sticking around for a Hawaiian weekend.
“I think a 66 [on Friday] might do it,” he said. “My caddie [Windsong Farm Golf Club’s Ernie Rose] reminded me that you get so many chances out here. This isn’t the end.”
Constable tees off at 12:30 p.m. CST on Friday.