NORTON — It was not a good day for the local kid.
Hopkinton’s Jon Curran, a former Globe All-Scholastic and part of a new generation of Boston sports fans (“We skipped school to go to one of those duck boat parades”), is playing at the Deutsche Bank Championship this weekend and had his worst day of the tourney on Sunday, shooting a 76 in the third round.
The rest of us would be ecstatic with a 76 at TPC Boston, but Curran is playing with the big boys and his three-day total of 4 over par has taken him out of Deutsche Bank contention and severely dented his chances to get to Crooked Stick to play in the coveted and lucrative BMW Championship. Curran started Sunday ranked 69th in the FedEx standings (only the top 70 after Monday’s final round remain in contention), but had double bogeys on holes No. 3, 6, and 15 on Sunday.
“I played horrible,’’ said the 29-year-old New Englander. “The course is playing a little more difficult, but I just played bad. A lot like the first day . Nothing good.’’
Before this weekend, Curran had only played TPC Boston once and that was during his time at Hopkinton High. The Norton galleries have been peppered with family and friends through the weekend, and Curran was disappointed in his play Friday and Sunday.
“Saturday I was paying a lot of attention to family and friends out there and I was having fun,’’ he said. “Today I wasn’t having fun at all. It started very badly and it didn’t get any better. My attitude really wasn’t very good. The greens just felt fast. If you get into some positions you can’t . . . The greens all week have been like that. They’ve been treacherously fast. Fastest I’ve seen all year. That made it difficult for me.’’
He pledged to stop worrying about surviving the FedEx cut to get into golf’s September Madness.
“I could care less about BMW right now,’’ said the former Hopkinton Hiller. “It’s been too much in the forefront of my mind. I don’t even want to play in that. That’s the mentality I’m going with. I don’t even want to get into it. That’s kind of the approach I’m taking.
“Last year I did the same thing to myself at Barclays, trying to get here, and it didn’t work at all. So now I’m doing the same thing trying to get to BMW. Who cares? Relax.’’
At times like this, Curran relies on local sports psychologist Dr. Greg Cartin for guidance. Cartin got his start counseling athletes at Somerville and Boston English High Schools and today runs GC3 Performance Consulting. Curran says Cartin keeps him relaxed and focused. It’s all about staying calm and smothering the anger than can eat you up inside.
“I talk to him every day,” said Curran. “I don’t have any goals. Just going out and doing as good as I can every day. Whatever happens, happens. I don’t like to set goals for myself. A goal of mine was to go to BMW and it’s literally driving me insane.’’
Curran grew up near the Boston Marathon starting line and recruited Keegan Bradley to join him at Hopkinton High School when Bradley’s family was relocating in 2003. Try to imagine an Eastern Mass. high school basketball team with two future NBA players. Needless to say, the Hillers were favored to win the Tri-Valley League. Coach Dick Bliss’s team won the 2003 state championship before Bradley went off to play at St. John’s. Curran graduated in 2005 and went to Vanderbilt.
His path to the big time was not as rapid at Bradley’s. He didn’t get his tour card until 2014, but he’s made the cut in 18 of his last 29 tournaments and pocketed $918,000 when he almost won the Memorial. He currently lives in Jupiter, Fla., and plans to marry a young woman from Barrington, R.I., in Newport Oct. 28.
Growing up, Curran’s favorite teams were the Patriots and Bruins. He counts Shawn Thornton among his friends and recently played in Thornton’s charity event at Ferncroft.
“I grew up in a good era for Boston sports, that’s for sure,’’ said Curran.
He’s staying near Gillette Stadium this weekend but said he had not yet seen the giant Tom Brady murals that adorned the Razor’s lighthouse Sunday morning.
“That’s cool,’’ Curran said. “I like that. I’ll check it out.’’
Maybe some positive inspiration for Day 4 at TPC Boston.Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_Shaughnessy.