When I didn’t play well this year, I really enjoyed it. It may sound weird, but I haven’t had a problem with golf in a long time. Joining the PGA Tour has been very easy for the past 3-4 years. In the meantime, I’m pretty consistent.
Perhaps this optimistic approach comes from my personal history. I lost my mother to cancer in 2005 and my brother to cancer in 2009, but he recovered. I was diagnosed with the disease two years later. I started playing professional golf, so I had the world at my fingertips. I realize how precious every moment is.
I feel like I’m more thankful for what I’m doing now, and I’m also thankful for the little things in life, like good food and a good golf course. I also learned to be grateful when it wasn’t so much fun. With my own cancer, it’s all about knowing what I need to do. I didn’t train much back then, but this was one of the few opportunities. Many people only have one or two chances of success.
It’s an alarm clock. This experience does not complicate difficult times and golf is not life and death. I lived and died of cancer. The chassis smelled and the three trips smelled fragrant, but in the usual scheme, it didn’t matter. I’m very competitive and still frustrating, but when I put my hands on a pillow at night, golf itself does everything.
“As a teacher, she was on summer vacation, so we traveled by minivan. He never misses a tournament and can leave a detailed message and send it to his father for discussion. If you play well, you’ll get a delicious Starbucks. I don’t remember staying on every trip and in such a great hotel and sometimes we drive at night. There are many wonderful memories.”
Winning my first PGA Tour tournament in March at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship was a dream come true. When I won, it was a lot of raw emotion. It was one of those things I thought about for years, and it was the last putt. I don’t remember much. The first few minutes after winning with a surprise or something. I’ve watched the video many times to see what happens, and it’s fun to watch.
You’ve seen it many times and it’s one of my favorites that wives and kids are around the green and end up hugging their father or husband. It was a very cool moment. At the 111th start of the TOUR, I was probably at a level where I needed a “W”. I don’t know if it crossed my mind, but it was time for it to happen. As everyone saw on the 18th green, I think I was very impressed after the win.
My wife, Rona, had a very long trip with me, so it was really nice to be able to attend the party. Rona is an incredible person and she is very pleased to have her in my life. When we met, I was an up-and-coming pro trying to take a mini-tour. I had a great financial backer who played a lot of golf, but I didn’t want to ask him for monthly rent.
So Rona had two jobs, but at the time I was making negative money. I was basically worthless because she had to pay her rent and put her food on the table. She wasn’t always happy when she got up in the morning and went to her job. She then went home for a few hours and returned to work in the evening. Sometimes she spent 70 hours a week because I had to play golf. I wouldn’t have been here without her.
She also urged me to be able to play golf well. She kicked me in the ass when I got up and didn’t do the right thing. In January 2014, she gave me $ 200 after I was absent from Q-School for the fifth consecutive year and was depressed. I was down and outside. I sat on the couch like a full quarterback and did nothing.
One day she went home and said, “Joel, I don’t care what you do, I don’t care if you play golf, I don’t care if you wash the dishes No. But you can’t sit on my couch and do anything. I want to play golf the way I’m good at, but it should be. “So, with the money she gave me, in Utah I found Director Scott Sackett. I don’t think he’s Scott. He told me what he didn’t know yet, but he won the next week, won again two weeks later, and earned $ 50,000 in the next three months.
I went to Canada in the summer and won there. I’ve never met the first tournament and then Orderscot, and I don’t know if it was a lesson or if I got up from the couch just around the corner. It was crazy.
Of course, Rona is an important part of my life, but so is my career, Geno Bonaly, who has been my best friend since childhood. He actually checked in at our wedding. He spent so much time, effort, and sacrifice that he was so far away from his wife and two children.
Geno and I started the partnership in the summer of 2014 after winning several times in Canada. He started writing me an email and sent it to me the night I officially became the Champion of the Order of Merit to take part in the Korn / Ferry Tour. be moved. One of the deadlocks was when I said he didn’t want to dive when I was already on the PGA Tour.
He wanted to be part of this journey to help me get there. Many want to take a money-rich PGA Tour, but he helped me go all-in and start the Korn / Ferry Tour. I hung him for a moment. I told him he wouldn’t do it, probably for the first two months, because he couldn’t make enough money for his family. But he still held up.
What I kept in mind was that if I hired him, I would have to fire him someday and I didn’t want to fire his best friend. I told him, and he said it was okay if I fired him, I did it with pizza and beer. So we set out, and that’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
It was great to have him in his pocket with the victory of our first PGA Tour. Expectations change because of the victory. I didn’t expect anything from Corales because I couldn’t play well. Since becoming a professional 10 years ago, I’ve been on the final rankings every year from Canada to the Korn / Ferry Tour and now the PGA Tour. If you keep doing that, big things will happen.
You can improve with other things, maybe your mental aspects will improve a little, maybe your routine will improve a little and these things add up. I don’t know if I need to win at Corales, but I always thought it would happen in the end. Getting the first one is huge now, and I know it can be done, so I want to win a bigger and better tournament. That feeling on Sunday is pretty addictive. The adrenaline you experience, all the addictive celebrations, and it’s fun. You want to do it more and more.