Friday, May 02, 2008

Blackmar Back in the Game

phil blackmarNice article about a nice guy in the Austin American-Stateman. The nice guy in question is Phil Blackmar, the Corpus Christi native and resident (his father, Fred Blackmar, was the head pro and teaching pro at the CC-Naval Air Station course for decades), University of Texas graduate, longtime PGA Tour.

During his time on tour, Blackmar epitomized the journeyman PGA Tour golfer. Many years he struggled to keep his card. But Blackmar's talent was as big as the 6-foot-7 man - he just had trouble harnessing and controlling it. But because of that talent, he managed to win three times in his career. Might not sound like much, but that's the same number of wins as Chris DiMarco now has.

Blackmar finally gave up the struggled in 2000, but eventually found that he missed the competition. And now he's back in the middle of competition, on the Champions Tour. This week in Austin, at the FedEx Kinko's Classic, he's playing the senior circuit for the eighth time.

Describing golf for ESPN and USA, a job that put him in the middle of tournaments without the anxiety of playing them, helped Blackmar realize what he missed. His perspective changed.

He longed again for the chase.

"That's addictive," Blackmar said. "That was what I loved. As time passed, that part of me started coming back."

The time away had mended what needed mending, he said.

He used to be too hard on himself. He used to seethe at bad luck. He used to brood when he didn't play to his expectations. He used to allow his mood to affect his relationships.

"I still liked the game," Blackmar said. "I just didn't like what the game had done to me."

He practiced for a year for the Champions Tour.

He and his family had talks.

He simplified his swing and began to train his mind again to compete.

He granted himself a chance.

"He's definitely come back from the grave," said his friend and caddie, former tour player John Adams.

While Blackmar might have sometimes seethed on the course, he has always been generous and a gentleman off the course. It's good to see him back on tour.

Read the full article. (Note: If you're asked for login info, visit

(Photo by Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman)

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