FORT MYERS, Fla. - FGCU graduate Derek Lamely finished tied for seventh, four shots off the leader, at the Miccosukee Championship as part of the Nationwide Tour on Sunday, October 18th. The top 25 finishers on the Nationwide Tour get PGA cards for next year and Lamely has clinched a top 25 finish.
"I've always thought it could happen. Maybe that's why I've made it as far as I have," Lamely said. "There were some difficult times in there. There was a couple of times I was playing pretty badly and I wanted to not play anymore. I don't know if it's being stubborn or who knows, but I just always believed I could do it."
Lamely has lived in Fort Myers since graduating from FGCU in 2003, and has certainly made the Southwest Florida community, the university, and his family proud. Lamely still works with FGCU coach and noted instructor Jim Suttie and believes he owes his success to his length and accuracy off the tee, strong putting, and progress made to his instructor.
“He was the last one to leave the range," said FGCU coach Jim Suttie. "He was always bothering me. 'Is this right? Is this right?' He would monopolize my time. He was so into getting better."
Lamely's scoring ability was showcased in the first round of August's Price Cutter Charity Championship in Springfield, Mo., where he made six birdies and two eagles in a nine-hole stretch to go 10-under. Lamely accomplished his first professional tour victory, in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in a playoff on Aug. 2. He followed that up by tying for second the next week, and tied for seventh a month later to move further up the ranks.
"He's just done everything I've asked of him,” said Suttie. “As a result, to his credit, he's done good. He knows his game inside and out, you might say. He's going to be a good one on the PGA Tour."