AIKEN — In his seventh year playing professional golf, Alex Hamilton still is seeking his big breakthrough.
The Aiken native is back home this week for the eGolf Tour’s Championship at Woodside Plantation. Hamilton grew up at Woodside and knows the Jones Course better than anyone in the field.
He’s hopeful his home-field advantage will come into play in the final three rounds after opening with even-par 72 on Wednesday. Hamilton is 11 shots behind leader Gordon Strother.
“I’d love to play well. I anticipate playing well,” Hamilton said. “Sometimes in this game, I’ve learned you’ve just got to go out there and do your best and hit the shot that’s in front of you.”
Hamilton is making his ninth appearance this year on the eGolf Tour. He’s earned almost $6,500, with four top-35 showings along with four missed cuts.
The 29-year-old Hamilton is trying to get to where former South Aiken High School teammate, Kevin Kisner, and his friend Scott Brown are playing. In his second year on the PGA Tour, Kisner is No. 157 on the money list, while Brown is No. 137.
At the final stage of the 2009 PGA Tour Q-School, Brown and Kisner obtained their Web.com cards, while Hamilton opened with 78 and never recovered during the six-round event.
“The key is playing well at the right time,” Hamilton said. “They took advantage of their opportunities.”
Hamilton, who got married in July 2011 and lives in Greenville, S.C., with his wife, Kristin, is trying to create his own break. He played in a pair of PGA Tour events in 2010, missing the cut at the Greenbrier Classic and finishing tied for 45th at the McGladrey Classic. He played in one Web.com event last year and this year, missing the cut in both.
Hamilton has tried to latch on to the PGA Tour through Monday qualifiers for the FedEx St. Jude Classic, the Greenbrier Classic and the True South Classic this summer. Though he’s yet to earn his spot into a PGA Tour field this year, he said he’ll keep trying. And he’ll also give Q-School another chance.
“I have very high expectations for my game,” Hamilton said. “I completely believe in myself. I’d be lying if I said I’m happy with where I’m playing. But I feel like I’m getting close.”