Colorado’s Jim Knous finishes PGA Tour career in style

12 Year PGA Tour pro Jim Knous – HardK on social media – wraps up full-time tour golf in the limelight of the WM Phoenix Open

Jim Knous tees off at the 1st tee during the first round of the Korn Ferry Tour – Magnit Championship on August 17, 2023, at Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson Township, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

By Jim Bebbington

Jim Knous, the Littleton PGA Tour pro who played in college for the Colorado School of Mines, is very clear: he MIGHT play some professional tournaments again in the future.

However, after 12 years as a touring professional golfer and one very nasty wrist injury, Knous this week left full-time touring golf.

He finished with a flourish, too.

At the WM Phoenix Open, Knous earned his way into the field by finishing in the top four at last Monday’s qualifier, then survived a four-man playoff for the final three slots in the field.

He had already decided to move on and was close to announcing a new role he was taking as a fitting engineer with Ping.

But if only for one last time, he was at the table, competing. He played well but was at risk of missing the cut on the weather-delayed Saturday morning second round until a late flourish of birdies helped him make it to the weekend. He was surrounded by family – his wife Heidi and three children, as well as his father and step-mom. His coach from Colorado School of Mines, Tyler Kimble, was his caddy. He wore a Craig Kimble Colorado Rockies jersey one of the rounds to play the stadium No. 16 hole.

He ended the weekend birdie-birdie on Sunday, climbing to finish T-28.

“Yeah, got on a little heater there,” he said. “That was fun. Birdie-birdie on the last, 4-under on the last six. I couldn’t ask for much more, to be honest. I was hoping to birdie the 16th hole, get the crowd going, obviously, but yeah, what a finish to the tournament. Like I said, couldn’t ask for anything more. I really wanted to make that putt on the last hole, that six, seven-footer to say I went birdie-birdie to finish out there, and luckily I was able to roll it in.”

Ryan French, the golf blogger behind the popular social media feed Monday Q Info, championed his cause all weekend and urged the crowd at 16 to cheer his name.

“Jim Knous Monday Q’d in probably his last attempt,” French wrote. “In a few weeks he starts a job with Ping. He wants to be home more with his 3 kids. But he’s going to enjoy one more week on tour. Please tag anyone you know at the WM this week and let’s make this last lap a memorable one for @jimmyhardk.”

Knous has played the last few years with partial tournament exemptions which he earned from sustaining a wrist injury while playing in the 2019 Canadian Open. He had surgery, rehabbed, and returned to competition during the Covid-shortened year of 2020. His game slowly came back, but not to the point it had been before his injury. By last fall his exemptions had run out, and he sought to regain access to the Korn Ferry or PGA Tour schedules by playing in last fall’s Q-School. He made it to the semi-final round but did not finish high enough to earn any access for 2024.

That is when he and his wife Heidi sat down and had a conversation and decided it was time for a different path.

Knous was already a bit of an outlier for the PGA Tour. Many of the top pros go to college; few actually graduate. After a few years of honing their crafts against highly competitive peers, many leave school early to try to ply their trade professionally. Knous took the long way around and left Mines only after earning his degree in civil engineering. He even joked in an interview with Colorado AvidGolfer last year that one of the things he has thought about doing differently in his life, if he had it all to do over, was taking that engineering job offer straight out of college instead of turning pro.

Sunday he said he will probably play again – likely through the PGA of America in hopes of reaching the PGA Championship. But for now, he’s ready to begin something new.

“I’m sure I’ll get rocked,” he said Sunday. “My friend sent me a picture; I have a cubicle. That’s fun. I’m pretty psyched about that, to be honest. Yeah, I’ll be sitting in front of a desk. I’ll be working with players, working with engineers, fitters, so many different people. I love the people at Ping. I can’t wait to go to work. Professional golf is incredible. It’s hectic, it’s hard, it’s trying at times, but what a great week this was.”


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Contact Colorado AvidGolfer Content Director Jim Bebbington at [email protected]

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