AKRON, Ohio _ Scott Piercy's challenge is to turn heartache into inspiration.
Two weeks ago, the 37-year-old with three PGA Tour victories came close to winning the biggest tournament of his life, tying for second at the U.S. Open at Oakmont.
On Sunday at Firestone Country Club, Piercy was forced to settle for second again. His final round of even-par 70 left him one stroke behind Dustin Johnson in the $9.5 million World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
"Even though I didn't have my best stuff today, I still had a chance to win really, or close to," Piercy said. "You know, I'll definitely learn a little bit from it so I can apply it to next time. Overall I'm happy about the week. A little disappointed I didn't win, but it's a positive."
Piercy lamented that his driving deserted him. He and playing partner Jason Day, who tied for third, both hit 5-of-14 fairways. Piercy tied for ninth in driving accuracy for the week, while Day tied for 46th.
"Today we both kind of drove it all over the place and I managed it pretty well," Piercy said.
"I talked about driving the ball well, and I didn't. It kind of put me behind the 8-ball pretty much all day. No. 18 was the one really good drive that I hit all day, and other than that, I was just kind of clawing to stay there and try and make pars."
On No. 16, Piercy had an 18-foot putt for birdie that would have tied Johnson, but Piercy's effort missed by an inch.
"Inch here or inch there is kind of the difference between winning and finishing second or third," Piercy said. "But the putt on 16 was a good one, then it was close. I'm happy with it, but obviously we want to win being out there, and knowing that I came as close as I did, not having my best stuff is a positive, as well."
Piercy said he hit some good tee shots that resulted in bad breaks. He bogeyed four of the last 10 holes, but countered with three birdies in that span.
"Hit a tree, going farther in the trees, bounce, cutting into the fairway and bounce up the hill into the rough," he said. "Even some of my better shots I felt like got bad breaks, and then I'd hit bad shots that were just bad. I thought I did good to kind of keep it together. That birdie on 14 I thought was huge, and then I just missed on 15, got a terrible lie, and I actually hit a pretty good chip shot there to give myself nine or 10 feet."
With the $1.081 million earned at Firestone Country Club, Piercy has picked up $1.76 million in his past two events, vaulting him to 17th on the tour money list with $2.735 million. He also moved up to 22nd on the FedExCup points list.
Piercy grew up in Las Vegas, but started out playing soccer. His interest in what turned out to be his profession was ignited by the next-door-neighbor on his cul-de-sac, Billy Harvey, who was the best 8-year-old golfer in the state and a soccer teammate.
"After one soccer game I went back to his house, was going to spend the night, and his dad took him out to a school to hit balls," Piercy said. "I'm like, 'Let me try that.' I thought I did it pretty good and had fun doing it."
Piercy and Harvey ended up as high school teammates and rivals. Piercy played on two state championship soccer teams. They attended college together for a year and Piercy still sees Harvey's parents frequently.
"The funny thing is Alex Cejka is married to his sister," Piercy said of the fellow tour pro from Germany. "So it's kind of one big family, really."
This article was written by By Marla Ridenour from The Akron Beacon Journal and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.