Joey Garber is Kevin’s Korn Ferry Tour Champion Pick

Garber has played average this year on the Korn Ferry.
He sits in 46th place in the The 25 Ranking after playing in 9 events
Finishing in the top 25 three times
The top 75 qualify for the Korn Ferry Finals.

Joey has experience on both the Korn Ferry and PGA Tour.
He was a 2018 Korn Ferry Graduate,
After earning his first professional win at the Rex Hospital Open in North Carolina.

The 2019 PGA Tour season was not smooth sailing for the Georgia Alum.
He only made 10 cuts in 22 starts, finding himself back on the Korn Ferry Tour.
So starts his quest to return back to the Tour he belongs to play on.

Adversity is defined in the dictionary as a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune.
Often adversity breeds the greatest athletes.
The light shines brightest in darkness.
Joey grew very much in that darkness in Petoskey, Michigan.
Not to say that this is a poor region, though it snows there 9 months out of the year
And often breeds some of the country’s top skiers, not world class golfers.

Garber has faced adversity his entire golfing career
And it has made him the player he is today, ready to climb back the big tour.

Downhill Skiing was Garber’s first love,
Growing up 15 minutes from Boyne Highlands – Michigan’s top winter sports resort.
Was a prospect for the US Junior Olympic Team
Though gave up skiing at 13 to focus on Golf.
Even though Northern Michigan is home to some of the best golf in America,
The courses are only accessible during the summer months
As often it can be still snowing in April and begin to get cold and windy in September.
His first shade of adversity.

The snow did not prevent Garber from being the stand out Junior Golfer in the state.
Two time Mr. Golf during his high school career.
This was earned from winning 27 events in his two last years …
Including an individual State Championship his Senior Year.
That summer he won both the Michigan Am and Michigan Junior Am.
The first and only player ever to do so in the same year.
He was the youngest player to make the cut at the Michigan Open;
Completing the feat in 2007 at the age of fifteen.
Rounding his junior career, he played in the 2009 US Am

The junior golf phenom took his talents to the University of Michigan in 2010
And was one of the top 3 players on the team.
He played in all 14 events that year.
But adversity came back around again;
He could not handle the pressure of U of M’s high academic standards.
Garber made the decision to leave his home state to transfer to University of Georgia.
This was to give him a fresh start in his classes
And also he noticed how many tour players come out of the prestigious golf power house.

He ended up in Athens in January of 2012,
As he had to go to a junior college to get his grades back up.
‘Duck Dynasty’ (as his teammates nicknamed him) backed up his decision to transfer
By becoming a First Team All American his Senior year
And was the Team Captain.

After his Senior season, he was allotted a sponsor exemption
To play in the Travelers Championship.
This would be his first start as a professional
He missed the cut, but he had a taste of the tour golf and he wanted more.
Though adversity would come back again.
He missed 10 of his first 11 cuts as a professional.
This was not only on the PGA Tour, but on the Korn Ferry and Mackenzie as well.
Due to his lackluster play in Canada,
Garber was left without any status moving into 2016.

After not getting through during the early stages of Q-School in the fall of 2015 …
Garber decided to make one the biggest gambles a professional golfer can make.
He planned to play the Monday Qualifier circuit.
Traveling week by week, playing the Monday of tournament week
In hopes of qualifying for that week’s tournament.
Whether it was the PGA Tour or Korn Ferry,
Garber was looking for a place to play.

I would like to say that this venture earned him much success, but you see where this story is going.

He played in 5 PGA Tour events of the next two years
(having to Monday in to every event)
And only made the cut twice.
He had even less success on the Korn Ferry in those two years,
Playing only two events, missing the cut in both.
Adversity came again.

This is the sign for most fringe level tour pros
That it is time to try something else.
These are the seasons of the careers of many great players.
Even through the struggle of these first four years as a professional
The heart of a great junior and college golfer is still alive.

Entering KFT Q-School in 2017,
Garber knew his back was up against the wall.
He had to gain status because continuing on the Monday Circuit
Would most likely not be an option next season
He finished Q-School that year in 30th;
This did not gain him a full card, but he gained a tour to play.
Finishing outside the top 25, meant he had to get off to the fast start in 2018.

Adversity would show it’s head again.
He missed the cut the first two events that year.
Even with the odds against him,
He would finish in the top 25 four times in his next 4 starts
And he went on to win his first event as professional that year,
Securing his card for the PGA Tour in 2019.

Garber’s road to the PGA Tour was not the typical Junior Golf standout’s path.
It was filled with missed cuts, no status,
And questioning one’s ability to play at this level.
Through it all, he still made it to the place he felt he belonged.
When faced with a challenge, he rose to the occasion.

He currently sits 46th in the KFT rankings;
Inside the Top 75 that make the KFT Finals
The challenge is in front of him again.
The task to qualify for the PGA Tour this time is much easier than the last.
Adversity is the reason to continue watching Joey play,
As the feeling would be – something special is going to happen.