SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — If this is Jim Knous’s final PGA Tour event, he can at least say he made it to one more weekend.
“I want to see what that Saturday Colosseum vibe is like on No. 16. I want to hear them roar,” he said. “I need to get in there and hit a good shot so I can hear them roar.”
Knous who was inside the cutline at 3 under overall with four holes remaining when play was halted Friday night, went birdie-par-bogey-birdie to post a 66 on Saturday morning. That got him to 4 under, well inside the cutline.
Knous, 34, earned his way into the tournament in the Monday qualifier at Pinnacle Peak Country Club, shooting 7-under 65 and advancing through a 4-for-3 playoff.
But it’s last call because Knous decided it’s time to hang up his golf spikes and is set to begin a new position working at Ping as a fitting and education engineer. Knous, who lost a playoff for the 2012 NCAA Division II title, is the most successful player to come out of Colorado School of Mines, which is also where Ping’s vice president of fitting and performance Marty Jertson went to school and he has long taken an interest in Knous, who has played Ping equipment throughout his career.
“Working with the fitters, design engineers, R&D. A broad scope position so I can branch out later once I maybe find out what I’m good at or what I like to do there,” said Knous of his new which begins Feb. 26. “I got a cubicle. Let’s go.”
Knous made his PGA Tour debut at the 2017 WM Phoenix Open. It took seven years after turning pro before Knous earned his Tour card for the 2019 season. In all, he has made 44 Tour starts as well as nearly 100 more on the Korn Ferry Tour in his 11 years as a pro. But the grind of being on the fringes of the pro game also have taken their toll. He failed to get through Q-School this year and decided it was time to put his civil engineering degree to use.
But first, Knous has his college coach, Tyler Kimble, on the bag at TPC Scottsdale. Wife, Heidi, and the couple’s three kids watched his opening round and father, Jim, and mother, Ellen, were among his supporters walking with him on Friday afternoon. He holed out a bunker shot for birdie at 18, his ninth hole of his second round, and lifted his arms to the sky in delight.
“Clipped it just perfectly and went in and I just said, ‘Yeah, baby, let’s go.’ I was super psyched,” he said.
Then he birdied his next three holes. Last call will have to wait two more rounds because on Saturday morning, in the pouring rain, he chipped in for birdie at No. 6, flagged it at No. 7 but left the birdie putt an inch short in the heart of the hole and took three putts at No. 8. But he bounced back to drain a 23-foot birdie putt at the last and shot 66. He posted a 36-hole total of 4-under 138 and is T-34 at the midway point of the tournament.
“Thanks for the ride,” his father, an avid golfer who got his son started in the game at about 2, said in an interview with PGA Tour.com.
But Knous knows it is time to do something else after being on the road for 197 nights in 2022.
“That just wears on you as a person, as a dad. So we made the decision to try to look for other opportunities,” he said on Saturday after making the cut.
“I’m very proud of my career, but it’s time to be a dad,” Knous told Monday Q. “I’m just going to enjoy everything about this week, no matter what.”