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Jonathan Byrd Answers Your ‘Ask The Tigers’ Questions

June 28, 2001

Below are Jonathan Byrd’s answers to the selected questions that you submitted this past week to “Ask The Tigers”. ClemsonTigers.com would like to thank you for all of your questions submitted. We would also like to thank Jonathan for his time and sincere effort with “Ask The Tigers”.

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Jonathan, What criteria must you accomplish in order to move from the Buy Com tour to the regular PGA tour or are you already eligible? I definitely feel you’re ready.Ralph Herndon Hamer, SC

Well I am not eligible yet, but there are three ways I could get onto the PGA tour. I could either finish top 15 on the money list for the season and I would get my PGA tour card. I could continue trying to get my card via the second stage of qualifying school getting there by finishing in top 55 on the money list, and the last way I could receive my card is by winning three tournaments.

Jbyrd, Congrats on your fine play so far this year. The whole golf team is very proud of you! I know you are one of the most physically fit guys on tour and I was wondering if you might share a brief summary of your workout routine for those of us who are aspiring to follow in your footsteps. Good luck and I look forward to seeing you soon!Tripp James Spartanburg, SC

Good Question! I guess I can’t talk about everything, not because its secret, but it will just kind of take too long. I think the basics are working on your core, which is your abs, lower abs, which is extremely important for your balance and stability. You want your middle section to be really strong for coiling around when you swing. Probably the next best thing is your stamina…cardiovascular stuff…then doing a lot of shoulder exercises with your rotator cuffs that build up those strong little muscles in your shoulder. Other than that you can do about anything really as long as your using high repititon and low-weight and not bulking up too much. This will, make your muscles not much bigger but more stronger…more powerful…and you’ll start hitting the ball further.

Jonathan, Do you have a role model, and if so, who is it?Joey Davis Aiken, SC

I have a model golf swing that I look at to see where my swing is going. I look at Ben Hogan’s golf swing for one…not that I want my golf swing to totally look like his…eventhough he obviously has a good one. My stature is a lot like Ben Hogan. We have the same build 5’8″, long arms, so it is a good comparison for my set-up and my playing. Obviously everybody looks at Tiger. I wouldn’t consider Tiger a role model, because not all of us agree with some of the stuff he does, but with his golf game…you can learn a lot from watching him. There is also a lot of people on tour like Paul Stankowski, Tom Lehman, and other Christian guys who really live their lives pleading to the Lord and I think those are very good role models.

Hey Jonathan, I have two questions for you. What enticed you to become a Tiger when your home is so near the chickens? What advice can you give a kid who wants to get to be good enough to play golf for Coach Larry Penley and the Tigers?John Caudle Columbia, SC

I wouldn’t say I was really a Clemson fan in high school or while I was in Columbia…I really wasn’t a big fan of anything. I’ll honestly say I was never really a Gamecock fan, I think that’s a good thing…just kidding. Clemson was just a good fit for me. I was close to my brother, I wasn’t too far from home, and I really liked Coach Penley and the guys. Once I got there and went on a few visits and went to a few football games, obviously I grew to love it, and it started to run a little orange…now its pure orange…so I’m a true Tiger now.

As far as playing for Coach Penley, I think it’s tough. We’ve had a heck of a golf team for a bunch of years past, and we do right now, and will in the future. You’ve got to work your butt off, you’ve got to do junior or amateur golf in high school. You’ve just got to prove your game is to a college level and you can play at the college level and you can compete from the junior level. You need to show coach Penley that you have a lot of promise…I guess working hard is the best thing.

Jonathan, Is it a lot more competitive on the Buy.com Tour than in college golf, and do you feel a lot more pressure? Good luck in the future.Jordan Vaughn Norcross, GA

It is definitely more competitive then college. First of all, the fields are much deeper. Also, you can look at some of the scores we shoot out here and see the players are extremely good. We play some very difficult courses at times and the scores show it, but you know, were not playing U.S. Open type courses every week. Guys are getting better now and hitting the fall further so there scores are really showing improvements in technology.

Pressure wise I think its easier then college. In college I put more pressure on myself because I’m playing for a team and I want the team to do well. Your score means enough to yourself, but you feel a little more pressure because you want the team to do well. Now I can put pressure on myself because it is more individual, I think that’s easier.

What’s up J-Byrd? Glad to see you got the “chance” you were looking for when I saw you at the Masters. I would like to know to what you attribute your tremendous driving stats, especially the big increase in distance since I saw you play for Clemson? Good luck, and maybe next time I see you at the Masters, I’ll be watching you play.Freddy Faircloth Columbia, SC

I have gotten a lot stronger. I am working out really hard these days. I have put on some muscle…gained some distance. My swing has gotten better and more efficient. I’m experiencing a little more club head speed. And with the new equipment and the Titlesist Pro-V ball that I am using I have started hitting the ball farther.

Jonathan, Do you feel that getting off to such a hot start on the tour has put added pressure on you to get your card this year? Or has it helped you relax knowing you don’t have to make up in ground at the moment?Jonathan Estes Kingsport, TN

I think it’s helped me relax. When you don’t start off well I’ts easy to put pressure on yourself every week. Your kind of playing catch-up… you’re kind of just wearing yourself in the ground…you play with more importance on every shot. It’s helped me to relax because my schedule has improved, I’m in the winners category now, I have full status, so I can check when I want to play, and with my schedule I can play three or four weeks on, take a week off, and stick to that schedule every week. I like having the chance to be more mentally sharp, and not having to play every single week, running myself into the ground.

Jonathan, Do you look forward to mentoring Lucas, John, and other Tigers that will be turning pro soon? What advice will you give them?Bill Baker Greenville, SC

I think we all kind of mentor each other, because were all different ages and at different stages. Charles Warren has experienced things first so he has helped us other guys out. Engler and Lucas are such good players and are going to do extremely well. I don’t foresee them needing to much help, but if they have questions or want advice I’ll be there for them.

Thanks for your interest, Tiger fans. Go Tigers! J Byrd

Next week’s guest on “Ask The Tigers” will be former Clemson basketball star, Tony Christie.

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