New PGA Tour cardholder describes losing thousands in big-money match at Texas course

For Chandler Phillips, a three-time All-American at Texas A&M, January can’t come fast enough.

Thanks to a stellar Korn Ferry Tour season this year, where he finished 10th on the points list, Phillips will be heading to the Big Show in 2024, starting with the Sony Open in Hawaii.

But for the time being, he says, his clubs are tucked away so he can enjoy hunting season.

On this week’s episode of Subpar, Phillips revealed to hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz that lengthy layoffs from the game are not a new thing for him. In fact, he even took significant time off between the fall and spring seasons in college.

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“My old head coach, JC Higgins, he’d get on me pretty good,” Phillips said. “But I’m just like, hey man, I’ll be fine. Just let me have some fun. We’re goin’ day in, day out. It’s my off-time, like, reset. I’ve kind of always done it. It seems to somewhat work for me. I don’t plan on changing it any time soon.”

The rest clearly plays dividends for Phillips, who put the clubs away between November and January last year. After just a week of practice, he won the Korn Ferry Tour’s opening event, the 2023 Bahamas Great Exuma Classic.

And in case you think his newfound PGA Tour status will change his ways, Phillips says he has no intention of altering his rest routine. Hey, the elk and duck are calling!

When Phillips isn’t hunting, though, there are plenty of opportunities around his home in College Station, Texas, to keep himself sharp, one of which is a big-money game at nearby Conroe Country Club, a nine-hole course that Phillips described as “the best nine-hole golf course you will ever play in your life.”

“They have some serious money games out there,” Phillips continued. “After this last time, I told ’em, I was like, alright, it’s gonna be a while before I come back to y’all.”

Phillips said he played in a sixsome, as a part of a three-man team.

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“My team, I was the lowest amount lost,” he said. “When I go to Conroe, I usually bring $1,000, $2,000 with me, just to be safe. And I didn’t have enough.

“I was the least amount and I lost $7,900.”

But that’s not the worst of it. By virtue of some additional individual bets, Phillips said he watched one of his buddies lose $30,000.

“Don’t get me wrong, it got out of hand,” Phillips said. “But it’s always a fun game. You hate to lose that much, but they guys that we usually play with, they ain’t worried about it.”

So what kind of game creates a loss like that? Phillips said they played two best-ball, hammers (doubling the bet on a hole), and you could press (start a fresh new bet on top of the original bet) at any time. He estimates they played between 27 and 36 holes.

“The hammers started out at $50s,” Phillips said.


For more fun stories from Phillips, check out the full episode below. Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on