‘You’re About to See Some Sauce’ – Prodigy Blades Brown Turns Heads At Myrtle Beach Classic

Blades Brown stepped to the first tee in the Myrtle Beach Classic and belted a 290-yard shot that ended up just left of the fairway, before hitting his approach to 15 feet and two-putting for a routine par.

Dressed in all black with a swing speed most could only dream of, spectators could be forgiven for mistaking Brown for being one of the “regular” PGA Tour players in the 132 person Myrtle Beach Classic field, but the Nashville resident is far from normal. Brown is 16 years old and still putting the finishing touches on his sophomore year in high school, while making his PGA Tour debut this week.

One of the nation’s most decorated juniors, Brown earned a sponsor’s exemption into the Myrtle Beach Classic, and he took fans on a roller coaster ride in his first round.

“First tee, I was shaking a little bit,” he said. “But I decided to — instead of thinking about it as nervousness – think about it as excitement.”

Brown said his nerves started to calm on the third hole and he began enjoying the company of his playing partners, Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark and France’s Adrien Dumont de Chassart. After opening his morning at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club with four pars, he made his first PGA Tour birdie on the 209-yard, par 3 fifth hole, draining a 9-foot putt.

A round that finished at 1-over par 72 started to get exciting for Brown on the seventh hole, when he made his first bogey and followed it up with a chip-in birdie on No. 8. The par 4 eighth was a microcosm of the day for the precocious Brown, showcasing his inexperience and his talent.

He went after the pin from 190 yards out, landing just short of it, but as soon as the ball got past the flag it quickly tumbled off the back of the green, coming to rest near a tent 36 feet from the pin. Brown received temporary immovable obstruction relief and promptly chipped in.

“I got really lucky on that … I was able to get relief, and then I dropped it right where I wanted to,” Brown said. “I told (my caddy) Jack (Bethmann), “You’re about to see some sauce right here,’ and then it went in, and my eardrum is still ringing from the guy that was going, ‘Blades!’ It was electric.”

He finished the front nine with an even par 35, and those routine pars early in the round gave way to a wild close. Between holes 11 and 15, Brown went birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie.

“It was definitely back and forth, just a few things I need to tighten up on, but overall positive,” Brown said when asked to describe his round.

He finished with bogeys on 17 and 18 and will have work to do to make the cut, but Brown looked and felt at home on the game’s premier tour.

“Despite the back nine, which it was a lot of fun, I just need to tighten up on a few things, and I feel like this is where I belong,” he said.Blades Brown at the Myrtle Beach Classic

While the Myrtle Beach Classic was Brown’s maiden professional event, he had rubbed shoulders with tour players long before coming to the Grand Strand, counting guys like Brandt Snedeker and Ben Griffin, both playing this week, among his mentors.

Brown finished the day with five birdies, providing hope that a low round awaits on Friday. He will likely need to shoot at least 3 or 4-under to make the cut, a number that’s attainable with better putting (he averaged 1.92 putts per green in the first round).

Regardless of what the second round holds, Thursday was a day Brown will never forget.

“Oh, my goodness, it was so much fun,” he said. “This course has some teeth to it. I’m not 100 percent used to that yet, but I feel like the experience I’m getting this week is — like you can’t pay for this.”

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Dunes Golf & Beach Club

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