The first question posed to Callum Tarren following his final round at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship was his reaction to securing his PGA Tour card.
With a dream that big on the line for the Durham native, who has played in China and the US to climb up the PGA Tour ladder, Callum needed confirmation that he was in fact heading to the big show.
“Are you sure?” he asked. Confirmed. “100%?” he questioned again. Yes, confirmed. 2021-2022 PGA Tour membership locked up.
“That’s crazy. That’s seriously insane,” Callum added. “Speechless.”
The 30-year-old felt like he had been “knocking on the door for a long time.” That door opened thanks to a T4 finish at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, a finish strong enough to secure one of the 25 PGA Tour cards given out in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals with one event remaining.
The T4 came on the heels of a disappointing final round 72 at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, where he finished T26. Heading into the second event of the Finals, he was kicking himself at what he felt was a missed opportunity in Boise, but he knew his game was in a good spot. He just had to trust it and go play golf – a message that was reinforced before the final round as he was scrolling through social media.
“I listened to Stephan Jaeger’s interview, and he said something along the lines of, ‘There’s no point in worrying about the outcome, just go play golf,’ and I thought you know what that’s how I play my best. So why not?” Callum said. “All day I just kept saying to myself, ‘I’m having a game with friends and let’s make as many birdies as possible.’ I felt calm out there, which was really good. Hit some great shots and yeah, I’m just pumped.”
The way Callum figured it, he had nothing to lose during the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. His first child, a baby girl named Sofia, was born two weeks before the Nationwide event and he flew home between the regular season finale and the start of the Finals. With a new daughter and his job secured for next year, he figured there was no real downside to consider in the Finals.
“When I came back obviously it was tight to make Boise, but I had nothing to lose,” Callum said. “The two scenarios were that I either get a Tour card, which is a lifelong goal and dream of mine, or the other was spend three months at home with my daughter and fiancée. One of them has happened and it’s probably the one that I wanted.”
With his Tour card secured for the first time, Callum’s attention has turned to his next goal – staying out there.
“My goal as soon as I got on to the Korn Ferry Tour was to make the PGA Tour, and now the goal is obviously to stay on the PGA Tour,” Callum said. “All the guys on Korn Ferry Tour are awesome, all the staff, the volunteers, it’s unbelievable. The tournaments you guys put on are just incredible, but everyone wants to play on the PGA Tour, and that’s where we’re heading.”