APALACHIN (WBNG) -- Last summer, Endwell native Gary Bendert took the golf world by storm. He qualified for the DICK'S Sporting Goods Open and instantly became a fan-favorite throughout the tournament.
However, this summer Bendert failed to make the cut in the PGA Tour Champions pre-qualifier Thursday morning at The Links at Hiawatha Landing.
The Binghamton University employee was 4-over through 15 but managed to birdie his final three holes to finish with a 1-over, 73.
Unfortunately, Bendert fell just two strokes short of advancing to Tuesday's qualifier.
Bendert made the cut last year by shooting a 1-under, 70.
"Well, let's put it this way," said Bendert. "After the DICK's Open, I didn't put the club down all winter, spring until now. So I played all winter long, and I was looking forward to there again. I can say I gave it my all. I gave it a full year effort. Really practiced hard. Went to a couple other tournaments. So, I really set my mind this year to do it again."
So sadly Gary Bendert will not be playing at En-Joie Golf Club for this year's DICK'S Sporting Goods Open, but that does not take away from the inspiration he's been for the golfing community here in the Southern Tier.