Jonathan Byrd has five PGA Tour wins and has earned more than $20 million in his career.
But recently he passed one of those other milestones in golf that many dads eventually come to know all too well: his son now routinely outdrives him.
Jackson, who is 15 now, started bombing it past his old man last year when he was 14.
“He hits it about 20 by me,” Byrd said after his first-round 64 at the Mexico Open at Vidanta. He’s one of five golfers tied for the lead at 7 under. “He hits it as far as the two guys I played with today. It’s humbling.”
Byrd, 44, played alongside Alex Smalley and Taylor Moore Thursday and will again Friday for the second round.
Earlier this year at the AT&T Pebble Beach, Byrd recorded his first top-10 in three years. Overall, however, he’s missed the cut in six of the 11 events he’s entered this season. His last win was at the 2011 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Jonathan Byrd tees off on the 12th hole during the first round of the 2022 Mexico Open at Vidanta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. (Photo: Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press)
But this week, his first 18 holes south of the border proved encouraging.
“It’s just any tournament you play well. … if I go out and beat my 15-year-old son, it gives me confidence. If I go beat Grayson Sigg or take money off of him or Keith Mitchell at home, that gives them confidence just when they beat me. Winning feeds itself and gives you confidence, so I’ll take anything at this point.”
As for those friendly matches with his son?
“The problem is he’s getting better and better and he keeps hitting it further and further and I keep hitting it the same distance. It’s just another challenge. I love watching my kids do anything, especially when they’re doing it well.
“My son’s a great golfer and I love watching him play. It brings me great joy, but it’s also fun for me to go out there and compete with him.”
And while the younger Byrd may be longer off the tee box these days, there’s more to golf than that.
“Still got to get it in the hole.”