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While the PGA Tour's best compete for guaranteed money at the no-cut WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational this week in Memphis, the Tour's other members will play the opposite-field Barracuda Championship in Truckee, California.
Justin Warren, though, won't be among them.
The 24-year-old doesn't hold a Tour card, but he did find himself with a chance to qualify for his first Tour event during Monday's qualifier for the Barracuda at Hidden Valley Country Club in Reno, Nevada. However, Warren missed a 4-footer on his final hole to fall into a playoff for the final qualifying spot, and he then lipped out a 1-footer in the playoff to miss out altogether.
Golf is merciless.
24-year-old Justin Warren misses a short putt in a sudden-death playoff at the @CudaChamp Monday Qualifier.
The chase for his first PGA TOUR start continues. pic.twitter.com/qJ89zr9CAH
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 3, 2021
“As brutal as it was to finish the way it did, it’s golf,” Warren told PGATour.com. “It sucks, and it makes me want to punch a wall, but that doesn’t help anyone. I just have to recognize that I made an error that cost me dearly, and it’s a tough one to swallow, but I just have to keep on keeping on.”
Two days later in Memphis, Rory McIlroy, who apparently is Warren's favorite player, was asked if he had any advice for Warren. Initially, McIlroy was blunt.
"Don't miss 1-footers, I guess, is a piece of advice," McIlroy said. "I guess that's a little bit tough love."
McIlroy then continued, talking about his first chance to win a professional event, at the 2008 European Masters, where he missed an 18-incher in a playoff to lose.
"I thought about it for a long time until I got that first win," McIlroy added. "But I guess the solace he can take is he's played well enough to give himself a chance. Like we all do dumb things under pressure at times, I've certainly done them. The next time – you know, I learned from that that every putt that I had, I took a little bit more time and I wasn't quite as careless. So there's a lot of things you can learn from these things. I guess he can take encouragement that he gave himself a chance and he played well to be in that spot."