[리서치페이퍼=Giselle Rances 기자]
Thirteen years after the personal tragedy that claimed his loved ones, Nate Lashley demonstrated that he is a force to be reckoned with at the Rex Hospital Open in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Lashley, now 34, won his first Web.Com Tour and is currently the tour's second-place money winner, which positions him to achieve a major career milestone by playing in the PGA Tour in 2018.
Much of this is in direct contrast to what could have become of Lashley in the wake of a terrible tragedy that befell him and his loved ones when he was still a junior at Arizona State University.
Lashley competed in the NCAA regional in Sunriver, Oregon.His parents and his girlfriend flew from Nebraska to Oregon to support him.From there, Lashley would return to school in Tucson, Arizona, while they returned home to Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
Lashley worried when he never heard from them after their flight.He soon learned that the plane had crashed in Wyoming near Gannett Peak.
The crash claimed the lives both his parents, Charlene and Rod, as well as his girlfriend, Leslie Hofmeister.
"It was extremely traumatic," Lashley says. "It was really difficult for a long time in just about everything on a day-to-day, life basis.And on the golf course, I was always feeling .ike something was going to go wrong."
Lashley struggled in many ways over the years since then, including on the golf course.He did not immediately establish himself in professional golf.He struggled through the Web.Com Tour in 2006 and played in obscurity for the most part.
Eventually, time healed his wounds, and the golfing that didn't assuage his grief before began to do so.Last year, Lashley won three tournaments on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica and earned the Order of Merit title.
Lashley was exempt for the Web.Com Tour this year, but he won the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic, closing at 20-under 268 and beating Augusto Nunez by one shot.
A $112,500 check placed Lashley second on the tour money list, and he has the chance to finish in the top 25 with another $163,913, which would make him PGA Tour caliber.
"I think, overall, I've become a better player," Lashley said. "And mentally is probably the biggest factor."[리서치페이퍼=Giselle Rances 기자]