The life of a professional golfer requires a lot of travel, meaning a lot of time spent away from the comforts of home, but this week in Chicago's north suburbs, pro golfer Nick Hardy is as comfortable as can be.
"I get the extra bonus of being home," Hardy said this week. "So just extra comfort. And just being able to see my family and share this week with them is really cool."
Hardy grew up in Northbrook and is currently playing on the Korn Ferry Tour, and with this week's Evans Scholars Invitational being played at The Glen Club in Glenview, he's staying with his parents.
That's nice in and of itself, but playing a tournament a few minutes from your home town carries another perk: home-gallery advantage.
"There’s going to be a lot of people watching me this week that meant a lot to my career growing up, and it’ll be special to play this week and share it with them," said Hardy.
Another thing the 25 year-old loves about a tournament so close to where he grew up? He gets a chance to eat at all his favorite local restaurants.
"Little Louie’s is one of them, for sure. Barnaby’s. Carson's Ribs. I love it all. There’s a lot of good spots in Northbrook," Hardy said.
Early in the event, the comforts of home seem to be making a difference. Hardy shot a 64 in Thursday's first round, putting him atop the leaderboard at 7-under par. The round continues a trend of good golf that has him in position to play full-time on the PGA TOUR next season.
The top 25 earners on the Korn Ferry Tour automatically secure their TOUR card, and currently, Hardy is 14th on the money list.
"Once I fell in love with this game, always I wanted to be a professional golfer, and I was just dead set on that," he recalled. "I never really thought of a 'Plan B' at all, it was just always, ‘Be a pro golfer’. It’s really cool to have that, and hopefully be on the PGA TOUR."