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Tommy Gibson, an assistant pro at Winston-Salem's Old Town Club, ready for his second PGA Tour tournament this week

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Tommy Gibson Golf (copy)

Tommy Gibson, an assistant pro at Old Town Club in Winston-Salem, will play in the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship in Greensboro beginning Thursday.

When “Team Gibson” arrives for its tee time in the first round of the Wyndham Championship on Thursday it will be tough to determine who has the most pressure to deal with.

Sure, Tommy Gibson has to pull out his driver or 3-wood and try to hit the fairway on at Sedgefield Country Club, but it’s Gibson’s caddie, Brad Luebchow, who might be sweating more.

“I have to tell Tommy a joke before he tees off, but it has to be a joke he hasn’t heard,” said Luebchow, who will reach into his bag of dad jokes and try to come up with something to ease the tension.

Gibson, an assistant pro at Old Town Club who is in the field as the Bob Boyd Player of the Year for the Carolinas PGA Section, doesn’t dispute who is under the most pressure.

“It’s definitely Brad,” Gibson said about Luebchow, an assistant pro at Maple Chase Golf & Country Club and an award-winning teaching pro. “The problem is I’ve heard most of Brad’s jokes.”

That easy banter that Gibson and Luebchow have is one of the secrets to how Team Gibson will approach this week.

Gibson, 33, a graduate of East Surry High School whose family moved to Mount Airy when he was in the eighth grade, will be playing in his second PGA Tour tournament. He and Luebchow teamed up in the RBC Heritage Classic at Hilton Head last year but Gibson missed the cut.

“I’m just looking at this as a great opportunity and there’s no doubt that being loose will help me out there,” said Gibson, who played the mini tours mostly in Florida while also becoming an assistant pro working at courses in Florida as well as Myers Park in Charlotte and Charlotte Country Club before going to Old Town in 2016.

Gibson attended a community college for a semester to try to get recruited to play in college. But he decided to turn pro and head to Florida at age 19, starting his career with the blessing of his father, Tommy, a teaching pro.

The father was the head pro at Pilot Knob Park when Tommy Jr. was in high school.

Gibson credits Old Town head pro Charles Frost with allowing him to carve out a playing schedule within the Carolinas PGA Section.

“I do all the buying and selling of the merchandise in the pro shop, and Charles has been absolutely wonderful to work for,” Gibson said.

Gibson said he also is allowed to continue to chase his dream thanks to his wife, Kasie.

“We have a 2-year-old daughter and a 10-month-old son,” Gibson said. “She’s a stay-at-home mom, and we’ve agreed about me playing in the (Carolinas PGA Section) events where you can make some extra money if you play well. She used to be an elementary teacher, but she’s been great about me playing and that makes a difference.

“Kasie’s been a rock and she’s so supportive and takes care of things at home and she just says ‘go play.’”

Gibson said there’s less pressure now because he has a full-time job.

“I just think the expectation level isn’t what it once was and that helps,” he said. “I’ll go out and have fun and see where I end up.”

While Gibson hopes to be loose and enjoy the experience, he’s also competitive. Making the cut is definitely within reach thanks to his ball-striking and accuracy off the tee.

“It will come down to putting and I know those greens will be tricky but the key is being below the hole,” Gibson said. “We missed the cut by three in Hilton Head so it would be great to be around to play all four days.”

Gibson hopes to have a large contingent of family and friends in Greensboro and friends from Florida.

“This will be different because it’s closer to home,” said Gibson, who will play in Monday’s pro-am at Sedgefield.

Gibson hasn’t given up the dream of playing on the PGA Tour and points out golfers like Tom Lehman and Larry Nelson didn’t find success until they were in their 30s.

“It’s still out there,” Gibson said, “and this will just give me sort of a taste but I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do out there.”

Luebchow, meanwhile, is working on his joke.

“I’ll tell you if it’s a good joke or not,” Gibson said. “But I’m pretty sure Brad will come through for me.”


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