Edwardsville High grad Chris Brant holds up his trophy and his check after winning the Mid-Summer Classic at Timber Lakes Golf Course in Staunton in June.
Golf is his game and Chris Brant of Edwardsville aims to make a name for himself in pro play.
So far, so good this year for the 2008 EHS graduate. He’s making the most of quality competition throughout the Midwest.
“I’ve seen a lot of progress in my game the past 12 months,” he said. “And that’s encouraging because golf can be a fickle game.
“I have a little momentum going.”
Lately, it’s more like a lot of impetus.
Brant, 26, finished first in last month’s third annual Mid-Summer Classic, part of the Metro Cup Series at Timber Lakes Golf Course in Staunton. Brant carded a 6-under-par 138, then needed a 6-hole playoff to oust Christian Heavens, a Belleville East High grad.
After that, Brant went on to share fifth place with a 206 score at the 11th annual Metro Open on July 10 in St. Albans, Mo. Brant won it in 2014.
Then he earned a spot for the inaugural Web.com Tour’s Lincoln Land Charity Open in Springfield by winning a three-hole playoff for the final spot during a qualifier July 11 at the Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville. Brant recorded a 68 and outlasted 7 other golfers for the final playoff berth.
It appears the Metro Cup Series victory jump-started his successful summer.
“It was nice to win it and Jim Odle (Metro Cup coordinator) does a great job with it. The course was challenging, but it was in good shape.”
Odle, a Litchfield High grad, said Brant and Heavens were at their best in the Mid-Summer Classic. Both of them played 24 holes.
“It was tense,” Brant said of matching shots with Heavens, his former Southwestern Conference rival.
Odle noted, “This was our best tournament yet, as far as the quality of players and the playoff to determine the champion. Both players performed at a high level throughout the playoff. We have two events left in the Metro Cup race and the standings are starting to heat up.”
Next up is the Go Low Open on Aug. 20 at Cloverleaf in Alton, followed by the 61st annual Labor Day Tournament Sept. 3-5 at Greenville Country Club. The second annual Metro Cup finals are set for Oct. 29-30 at Arlington Greens in Collinsville.
“I played in two or three of those events last year, but the Mid-Summer Classic is the only one I have played in this year,” Brant said.
He’s expanding his experiences by playing in various pro events at multiple venues.
“It’s kind of like being on a satellite tour, or the Hooters Tour level,” Brant said. “I’d say it’s similar to the level where (Marquette Catholic High grad) Shane Smith is playing. You could say it’s comparable to minor league Class AA baseball.”
The Web.com Tour, Brant’s goal for 2017, is akin to Triple-A baseball. The PGA Tour is the eventual destination.
Former Edwardsville High golf coach Dene Schickedanz said nothing surprises him about Brant’s ability. He saw him finish third in the IHSA Class 2A finals in 2006, enjoy a celebrated prep career — a four-time team MVP — and continue his feats at the University of Iowa. Brant was a two-time, second-team all-Big Ten Conference player for the Hawkeyes and an All-America player as a junior. He played in three NCAA tournaments.
“Chris is so professional at what he does,” said Schickedanz, the Tigers’ head coach from 2006-2015. “He has always been that way, even when he was a 115-pound freshman.”
Schickedanz pointed out, “He has the innate ability to get the ball in the hole. Chris is really good at keeping his wits and he’s so smart. He has a lot of options. Chris could easily be the CEO of Microsoft.
“I’m so happy to see him continue on in golf and I couldn’t be more proud of him. He was a huge part of everything we did.”
Brant savored his time serving as the Tigers’ leader.
“It was fun and we had a great run,” he said. “There’s great tradition at EHS.”
Now, he’s charting a new course, content to let golf guide him wherever it takes him.
“My primary goal is to keep playing,” Brant said. “There are a lot of ways to go. I talked a lot to Shane Smith about it and I know that he played in Asia. I would prefer to stay in the U.S.”
If he keeps playing the way he has thus far this year, Brant should be able to go wherever he desires.
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