FORT WORTH, Texas — Tom Hoge remembers coming back from competing in the NCAA Tournament and walking from the nearby Texas Christian University campus to take in the final round of the PGA Tour event at Colonial Country Club.
On Thursday, during the opening round of the Charles Schwab Challenge, Hoge wasn’t watching, but instead made the shot of the day, part of an impressive closing stretch that put him near the top of the leaderboard.
Hoge made birdie at his 15th hole of the day — he started on the back nine — and then went one better on the next hole, dropping a slam-dunk eagle on the par-4 seventh as he holed out from 154 yards.
The eagle moved him to 4 under for the round.
For Hoge, the chance to play well at the storied course — which is due for a major renovation as soon as this week’s event concludes — could help erase three straight years of failing to make the cut.
“This is home for me. It has been since 2007 when I came to TCU. It would be awesome,” Hoge said prior to the tournament. “I try not to think about that a whole lot because the last few years I’ve missed the cut. I’ve kind of taken on more responsibilities this week, and I would say a little more pressure to perform here.”
Although the added pressure of the home game might have hampered Hoge in recent years, he did admit that there are some perks.
“It’s nice sleeping in your own bed first of all, but I guess you get on the road and it’s a little bit easier to kind of get in the routine of tournament weeks,” he said. “I find myself doing more stuff around the house and some chores and that sort of stuff this week.”
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Story originally appeared on GolfWeek