He hasn't made anything look easy, it seems.
Stallings, born in Worcester, Mass., and raised in Oak Ridge, Tenn., is not only a PGA Tour rookie this season, but he was a Nationwide Tour rookie in 2010. He did not "graduate" from the "Triple-A" tour by finishing in the top 25 on the money list, so he qualified for the big tour in the grueling "Q school" tournament.
Then in the first five tournaments on the big stage, he missed the cut. He finally made it to the end of a tournament, winning $11,261 in the Puerto Rico Open in March.
That's not much, and he was having trouble just getting into tournaments because of it. He needed a sponsor's exemption, courtesy of mentor Kenny Perry, to get into the Transitions Championship near Tampa, Fla.
Something Perry said must have worked, because Stallings finished third and ranked in $374,000. Stallings confirmed as much: "Just kind of playing a practice round with him that week, he put his hand around my shoulder walking on the first fairway and said, 'Well, no more excuses. I'm sick of hearing it. You've been out here long enough; time to start playing like you know how to play.'"
After that week, Stallings finished 11th at the Texas Open and had four top-25s afterward. The Greenbrier Classic victory technically made that No. 5, but that was extra special.
And it was special for Perry, whose wife went to the Keith Urban concert Saturday with Stallings and his wife. And Perry, who wears The Greenbrier logo on his golfwear, had some better-natured ribbing for the kid this weekend.
"He gave me a hard time when I was close to the lead yesterday," Stallings said. "He said, 'Every corporate sponsor I have, are you going to play good at?'
"I said, 'I just hope you have some more.'"
Reach Doug Smock 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com.