Guys quit professional golf for a variety of reasons. Mostly it's not playing well enough and running out of finances to keep the dream alive.
For Scott Shingler of Haymarket, Va., it was to help his wife finish dental school. Shingler worked as a club professional at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in suburban Washington, D.C., when a few members helped sponsor him to play the Golden Bear Tour in Florida. For two years, Shingler played solid, but good enough golf to bring in the big paychecks. By then, his wife was going through her residency to become a dentist. So to help make ends meet, Shingler gave up the pro golf lifestyle to help pay the bills.
When his wife became a certified dentist, Shingler went to work as one of her assistants.
"We have a number of assistants and I'm one of them," said the 38-year-old Shingler after carding a 4-under-par 67 in the final round of the USGA Men's State Team Championship on Thursday. "Hopefully, she doesn't fire me."
Shingler certainly was firing on all cylinders on Thursday at Mayacama Golf Club. He made six birdies against two bogeys to set himself up for individual medalist honors. He finished the 54-hole competition at 4-under 209. He carded a pair of 71s the first two rounds.
Shingler credited some of his success in the final round to finally getting accustomed to the Jack Nicklaus design.
"You knew where the slopes were on the greens and where to miss," he said. "You knew when you had a green light and could go at a pin versus if you had a yellow light you had to play more conservative and take your 15- or 20-footer and hopefully make that. I was fortunate to make a couple of those today."
Shingler made a solid up-and-down par at the par-5 ninth, his last of the day, to secure the 67.
"That ... may be the one stroke that gets me that [individual] medal. That would be great. -- David Shefter