The morning after he was eliminated, Danny Nash rose early to watch the remaining U.S. Mid-Amateur competitors prepare for match play.
"I can be a little twisted like that at times," said the Hilton Head Island native. "It makes me that much hungrier."
All in all, Nash's first effort at one of the U.S. Golf Association's national events couldn't be anything but promising. Just two years after venturing into competitive play, the former college tennis player finished near the middle of the 264-man field, five shots out of a chance at match play.
With a second-day 79 at John's Island Club in Vero Beach, Fla., Nash found himself undone by three double bogeys and a triple bogey.
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"I've had some pretty gutted moments in my sports career, and that was probably the hardest one," Nash said. "But I'm encouraged. To be so new to competitive golf and do that, I feel like I can compete."
Nash, 29, played multiple sports at Hilton Head Prep before getting a tennis scholarship to Coker College, where he rose to become their No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles player.
Some of his buddies were on the golf team, and he'd join them for rounds.
"That's probably where I got really bitten," said Nash, who got his introduction to the game via the Hilton Head Island Junior Golf Association at Sea Pines. After graduation, he got his handicap down to a 2 and was encouraged to test himself in competition.
"The first tournament I played, I was completely hooked," he said.
He plays Golfweek Amateur Tour events near his central Florida home, winning twice. This year, he came up short in U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur qualifying before breaking through with a 72 in his U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifier at Streamsong Resort in Florida.
"I've said this a hundred times -- from an athletic standpoint, it's the achievement I'm most proud of," he said. "Everybody I was playing there, they played college golf, played in U.S. Amateurs, U.S. Juniors. To get there as a former college tennis player ... it's kind of a testament to my work and focus."
He's back at his job now, working in client relations for a golf community and sports academy north of Orlando, and already tweaking his game for next year.
"I'm dying to get back," he said. "I said to Jamie (his wife) this morning, 'I wish I could qualify right now to get back in.'"
STANLEY REGAINS FULL CARD
Kyle Stanley is back to being a fulltime PGA Tour member, locking up one of the final 25 cards given out during the Web.com Tour Finals that completed Sunday at TPC Sawgrass.
The onetime Berkeley Hall resident and Clemson alum tied for fifth at the season finale. His second top-five finish of the Finals lifted him to 15th on the series money list.
Splitting his time between the PGA Tour and Web.com circuit, Stanley found his game after a self-imposed two-month break in the spring. He had three top-25 finishes on the PGA Tour, and finished 16th or better in all but one of his last five Web.com Tour starts.
"In hindsight, I think (the break) set my year up," Stanley told PGATour.com.
The 2015-16 season opens next week with the Frys.com Open in California, the first of six stops before the holidays.
UWADIA SECOND AT HJGT
Hilton Head Island's Anita Uwadia finished runner-up in the top boys' division of last weekend's Hurricane Junior Golf Tour event at Jekyll Island, Ga. A 4-under-par 68 on the final day matched the weekend's best round and moved her within three shots of winner Mark Goodall of Scotland.
Jonathan Griz (Hilton Head Island) captured the boys' 13-14 division, carding rounds of 74-74 to claim a two-stroke victory.
SCGA MID-AMATEUR THIS WEEKEND
Brothers Brian and Benji Gecy head a quartet of Beaufort County golfers set to compete at this weekend's South Carolina Mid-Amateur in Greenville.
Bluffton's Tony Nimmer and Beaufort's Matt O'Quinn also are part of the 120-man field set to tee off Friday at Green Valley CC. Columbia's Robert Dargan is the defending champion, seeking a third Mid-Amateur crown.
MOSS CREEK MARATHON
Moss Creek GC director of golf Heidi Wright-Tennyson and head professional Tom Logue combined to play 401 holes in a golf marathon Sept. 28, raising $25,475 for the Folds of Honor Foundation.
Logue completed 203 holes before darkness fell, while Wright-Tennyson came in at 198.
RBC HERITAGE SEEKS VOLUNTEERS
Registration is open for anyone wishing join the volunteer corps for next year's RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, with two information meetings on tap for those interested.
The first meeting, open to Sun City residents, will be held next Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Pinckney Hall's May River Room. Another session is set for Oct. 21 and is open to anyone, starting at 9 a.m. at Palmetto Electric's corporate offices in Hardeeville.
More information can be found at RBCHeritage.com/volunteers, or call Tyler Daly at 843-671-2448.
ACES & ALBATROSSES