D.J. Trahan has enjoyed a lengthy professional career with $11 million in earnings and two wins over nearly two decades playing on the PGA Tour.
Though the 42-year-old has experienced injuries and setbacks over the last several years that resulted in his prime being behind him at this point, he says he’d still love to compete if he could get his game back to its former level.
“I still love golf, obviously,” Trahan told GOLF’s Subpar hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz on this week’s episode. “It’s given me so much in my life. It’s given me the good and it’s given me the bad.”
Part of the good was the chance to experience some incredible opportunities — like playing the 2001 Masters with Fred Couples.
“When I got there, I kept hearing through the grapevine that you could maybe like, make a hint of who to play with,” said Trahan, who earned entry into the tournament as the U.S. Amateur Public Links champion. “I was like, man, I just always liked the way Freddie played golf. Just looks so loose and effortless. And underneath all that, you just knew there was a guy that just wanted to, obviously he was a competitor. He wanted to win and he was a great champion. I always admired that about Fred Couples. So I let it be known that I’d like to get paired with him. And sure enough when the pairings came out, I had Fred and Stuart Appleby.
“Those guys were amazing. You could tell that they had a lot of appreciation for the game and where they were, and they held incredible space for me,” Trahan continued. “They made it a true pleasure to play. And then I banged out a 78-75 and I packed up my bags and went home back to Clemson on Saturday. I got my butt kicked in two days at the Masters, but I had a hell of a good time.”
And Trahan’s round with Couples wasn’t even the week’s only highlight. He also had the chance to play the Par-3 Tournament alongside the King, Arnold Palmer.
“My week was incredible. Practice rounds were great too. That’s literally over 20 years ago,” Trahan said. “Mr. Palmer — the man was exceptional. He was a true pleasure to play nine holes with.”
For more from Trahan, including his first impression of Tiger Woods, check out his full interview below.