Former Walker Cup star Keith Nolan will be leading a triple life this year - assistant golf coach for a college team, part-time PGA Tour caddie and Nationwide Tour player.
The Bray man will be battling to win back his PGA Tour card through the Nationwide Tour, though he is guaranteed no more than fives starts as he is relying on a medical exemption.
But when he’s not working hard to get back into the big leagues, Knoxville resident Nolan will be helping ETSU’s Fred Warren as an assistant coach and caddying part time for ETSU graduate Garrett Willis on the world’s biggest tour.
In fact, Willis and Nolan gave a little back to ETSU this week when they helped their old alma mater win its first tournament title of the 2009-10 season.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers closed with a final round 299 to beat Wake Forest by seven strokes and Clemson by eight at the JU Invitational hosted by Mark McCumber at the TPC Sawgrass.
Four ETSU players finished in the top 15 with Scotland’s Michael Stewart tied for third, West Waterford’s Seamus Power tied fifth on 7-over and freshman Garth McGee from Bangor, tied 15th on 12-over.
“Going there on Friday and having the perspective from Keith and Garrett was really a help for us,” Stewart said. “Getting an extra look at the course was an advantage, and I think we were disciplined and respected the course. No. 16, 17 and 18 are great finishing holes, and it was obviously a fantastic opportunity to play Sawgrass. Winning the tournament starts our spring the right way.”
Nolan has a contract to act as an assistant coach at ETSU and he’s loving the experience. But his goal is still to win back his PGA Tour card.
Whatever happens, he won’t be short of work.