SOUTHPORT, England – Julian Suri arrived on the range at Royal Birkdale Wednesday with a blank TaylorMade bag.
It’s his fourth week in a row with baggage issues, and this one threatens to disrupt his first career major.
Suri, who played college golf at Duke and this year has taken the European Challenge Tour by storm, is still without his usual clubs after his bag was lost somewhere between Rome and Manchester.
Even worse: Vueling Airlines still hasn’t located Suri’s set.
For those keeping count, I'm on my 4th (fourth) week in a row of having missing baggage. On a direct flight too! #streaking
— Julian Suri (@JulianSuri1) July 17, 2017
Ridiculous that after 48 hours i can't get a call back from @vueling about my golf clubs. Turns out they are my career #neveragain
— Julian Suri (@JulianSuri1) July 19, 2017
Fortunately for Suri, there is an increased equipment-truck presence at a major. The former Nike endorser is without a club contract this year, but TaylorMade reps stepped in to build him a new set that is “very close” to his usual setup – TaylorMade woods, Nike irons, and Titleist wedges and putter. (Nike exited the equipment space last year, but other manufacturers still keep Nike iron clubheads in their trucks.)
Couldn't have said it better myself! Guys in the equipment trucks are the real MVP's https://t.co/ix2fEFnIsu
— Julian Suri (@JulianSuri1) July 18, 2017
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“I played with it [Tuesday],” Suri said, “and I managed not to lose any money in my practice round. So it was all good.”
This week Suri has needed to borrow some of the other essentials that were in his travel case – a foam roller, a tool to mark the line on his ball, alignment sticks. And TaylorMade even created a panel for him to slap on the front of his bag.
“It’s been an adjustment, that’s for sure,” Suri said.
That’s nothing new for the 26-year-old, who now resides in Jacksonville but isn’t home very often. Having played junior golf with Brooks Koepka and Peter Uihlein, Suri was inspired by their near-instant success on the Challenge Tour and decided to follow suit. After switching swing coaches in April, Suri has gone on a tear on Europe’s developmental circuit, winning once and posting two other top-3 finishes to vault to No. 1 on the money list and virtually assure European Tour status for next season.
“In two months,” he said, “it has worked out pretty well for me.”
Maybe his luggage issues will, too.