SAN DIEGO – It’s been a busy 24 hours for veteran pro Scott Brown.
The 2013 Puerto Rico Open champion withdrew from the Korn Ferry Tour’s Bahamas Abaco Classic on Monday after playing in the afternoon wave of the tournament’s second round and hopped a flight to sunny Torrey Pines to tee it up in the first group off No. 1 at the North Course in the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open.
“I kind of had a goal in mind if I was in the top-10 down there, I was going to stay,” Brown said. “And once I didn’t play that great on Monday, I decided to come on here.”
Such is the life these days of the 39-year-old journeyman pro who is playing with limited status as a past champion beyond No. 150 in the 2021-22 FedEx Cup. (Brown ranked No. 193 last season.)
Brown, who was the first alternate, got into the Farmers when John Huh withdrew Monday at 5 p.m. PT. Huh didn’t cite a reason for pulling out this week, but also was a WD last week at the American Express when he cited an elbow injury.
Scott Brown made the cut at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic on the Korn Ferry Tour this week (played Sun.-Wed.) but withdrew on Monday evening when he got into the field at the Farmers Insurance Open as an alternate (John Huh WD).
Brown is currently 4-under thru 12 (T3).
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) January 25, 2023
Adding to Brown’s travel dilemma, this is a rare week where the Korn Ferry Tour started its event on Sunday (Wednesday finish) and the PGA Tour started on Wednesday (Saturday finish).
Brown, who got just two starts during the fall portion of the PGA Tour schedule, shot 1-under 143 for two rounds in the Bahamas, making the cut by two strokes, and was T-34 when he withdrew. Brown knew his chances of getting into Torrey were pretty good so he had booked flights ahead of time for both Monday and Tuesday.
“There’s only one flight a day from there, American Airlines at 2:30 (p.m.) through Miami,” he said, noting he was in a seat just behind first class, watched the show “1883,” and caught a catnap. Brown arrived in San Diego at 9 p.m. Tuesday and bunked with pal Scott Stallings.
“He had an extra bed at his house so I crashed with him,” Brown said.
In eight previous appearances at Torrey Pines, he has a career-best of T-9 in 2019 while missing the cut five times. On Wednesday, Brown reeled off three birdies in his first 10 holes en route to shooting 4-under 68 at the North Course, and T-19.
The decision to bail on the Bahamas and fly to the West Coast was a no-brainer for Brown: the purse at the Bahamas this week is $1 million with the winner banking $180,000 compared to $8.7 million up for grabs at Torrey Pines and a winner’s share of $1.556 million.