No one knows why it’s hard for sons of successful professional golfers to follow in a parent’s footsteps and become multiple tournament winners. We’ve seen Kevin Stadler, Craig’s son, playing on the PGA Tour and winning the WM Phoenix Open.
Kevin Tway, son of Bob Tway, won the Safeway Open so far. Jack Nicklaus’ son Gary tried the PGA Tour, without great success, and now plays on the PGA Tour Champions circuit from time to time.
That’s why Pierceson Coody’s Saturday round of 66, which vaulted him up the leaderboard at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, is so interesting. He could be an anomaly. He could be a guy to watch. He is the grandson of the 1971 Masters champ, Charlie Coody.
Pierceson and his twin brother Parker were both standouts on the golf team at the University of Texas which is known for grooming great golfers like Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, Jordan Spieth, and Scottie Scheffler.
Now both young Coodys have turned pro and are working their way up the ranks. Sometimes it’s Parker who is having a great tournament and sometimes it’s Pierceson.
For this week, Pierceson received an exemption to the Arnold Palmer Invitational and is making the best of it, having fired a third round 66 to move up the leaderboard where he is currently tied with Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Max Homa, Pat Cantlay, and Jordan Spieth. Of course, all that will likely change by the end of the day, as players on a roll come forward and others are defeated by the wind.
"Wind play is a skill he learned from his grandfather, Charlie Coody, who taught him how to hit it low."
“I started off so well. That 5-under on the front nine was awesome. It gave me an opportunity to shoot a great score like I did,” Pierceson said after finishing.
His round was made on the front where he dropped a 10-footer on the 3rd hole and a 20-footer on the 4th. He scared the hole at the 6th for an almost albatross, missed a putt for eagle, and made his third birdie.
Then Pierceson Coody added two more, at 8 and 9, to post a 31.
"“I got 5-under at the turn, that was a really good place to be. Luckily, I kept it going.”"
On the back side, Pierceson Coody parred all the way to the 15th, where he had his first and only bogey. Then he birdied the par 5, 16th, and the always challenging 18th.
Coody has some familiarity with the course as he played it in the Palmer Cup in 2020. However, it didn’t help him much this week.
"“It’s a completely different golf course. The ryegrass had just been laid down, it was no rough, super soft greens, flying 5-iron onto holes,” he explained about the set up in 2020. “But I at least know the sight lines.”"
Pierceson Coody explained about the set up in 2020. When asked about the wind, he mentioned that because he had played earlier in the day, he didn’t have quite the challenge that others will. However, he doesn’t seem to be bothered by it.
"“I’ve had a lot of success in the wind. I won my fair share of college events and amateur events in some really tough conditions.”"
In fact, wind play is a skill he learned from his grandfather, Charlie Coody, who taught him how to hit it low.
“He just tells me some of the old things that guys swear by almost, of just fairways and greens and good lag putting,” Pierceson explained.
"“I try to take that to heart because I know every guy out here’s trying to do that. Not fall in the trap of hitting driver everywhere and stuff. So just still trying to play to my strengths, but fairways and greens.”"
Will Pierceson Coody be the next big thing in golf? It’s impossible to tell.
But he has advice on call from someone who has been a winner at the top level, and that’s worth a lot. He’s a newcomer to watch.