Originally created 02/18/99

Aiken's Seawell has slow tour start



AIKEN -- Pro golfer David Seawell may need to work through some kinks before he can be competitive on the PGA Tour, but lack of confidence won't be a problem.

The Aiken native is in his first year on the PGA Tour and has already participated in two tour events: the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the Buick Invitational the last two weeks. Seawell struggled in both tournaments, failing to made the cut in either.

In the AT&T tournament he shot a 238 after rounds of 80-80-78. He showed mild improvement in the Buick. In two rounds, he shot 145 on rounds of 75-70.

"Right now I'm not clicking on all cylinders," Seawell said. "I got off to bad starts and had to play catch up. But in the Buick I could see things starting to come together a little."

Seawell shot under par with a 70 in the second round of the Buick and although he still missed the cut, he came back to Aiken eagerly awaiting his next challenge.

"My attitude is good and my confidence is high right now," he said. "I told my caddie that I know this sounds strange since I didn't play well, but I'm excited and I know I can play with these guys."

Seawell has this week off before heading to Tucson, Ariz., on Sunday for next week's Tucson Open. Most of the game's big names -- the top 64 in the World Ranking -- will be playing in the Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship at Carlsbad, Calif., that week, which opens up an opportunity to make a big pay check.

Seawell, a former Gamecock All-American, isn't relaxing in Aiken during his break.

Instead, the South Aiken High graduate is visiting Augusta State University, where he'll play with his brother, Jaguar golf coach Jay Seawell. And before traveling to work out with the Jaguars, he'll make a quick trip to Anderson, S.C., where he hopes his dad, Anderson College golf coach Jackie Seawell, can help him iron out some swing flaws.

"My swing is starting to come around, but he should be able to help me," Seawell said. "I've had a hard time dealing with the West Coast greens because they're a lot different than the ones here in the East."

Seawell claims to be taking his time adjusting to the pro level, and if there is anything he has, it's time. But as he speaks, he leaks out words of confidence. Words that display the 24-year-old's hunger for success, even only two tournaments into his professional career.

"I'm really enjoying being out there but I'm upset with my play," Seawell said. "Each time I go out, I'm hoping to get on a roll and start challenging for some top 10s and top-five finishes. I'm a little tournament rusty, but I've got this excited feeling about the rest of the year."

NOTE: Staff writer Patrick Green will periodically update how Seawell is faring on the PGA Tour this year.

Patrick Green covers sports in South Carolina for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (803) 648-1395.