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Island pro golfer competing for tour slot: Jake Card opening eyes in Florida

In this space two weeks ago, I wrote of Jay “Jake” Card III qualifying for the Korn Ferry Tour, which has always been referred to as the Web.Com Tour. Jake achieved his initial goal and qualified to play, and then was challenged to qualify for the first stage of the tournament.

Against another 100 young players from all over the world, he played in the first stage, well enough that after four rounds he qualified to enter the second stage. The next stage after the second would be the final.

In the second stage at the par 71 Plantation Preserve in Plantation, Fla., Jake shot 68 the first round. If you think this is easy, this golf course is 7,290 yards long, with most courses in the world stretching somewhere around 6,900 yards. Jake is now in 13th place for the 20 players who will qualify.

According to Jake, the second round was one of the biggest letdowns of his life in golf. He shot a 2 over par 73 and was knocked down into 40th position. Depressing, but he was reminded by his Shelter Island caddy, Tony Wong, that he still had two rounds to go — positive words he knew would put Jake back on track.

It worked. Jake’s third round of 64 was the lowest round in the tournament, catapulting him from 40th into 10th place. Going into the final round, he was 8 under par, and went from the most depressing part of his sporting life to feeling at his best.

The final round last week was a 69 to put him at 10 under par and in 16th place. He made it. This was and is the biggest event Jake has played in and he handled the pressure like a veteran.

Now, Nov. 4-7, he’ll be playing again in the biggest challenge of his career. It will be the final stage to get on the Korn/Ferry tour, played over 72 holes at the Landings Club in Savannah, Ga.

Jay gave much credit to Tony for keeping him sane through this last ordeal. We all hope Tony can make the trip to Savannah next week.

Congratulations Jay, and you can be sure we will be watching and rooting for you next week.