Tim Petrovic: Flying blind all in a day’s work

Tim Petrovic was the last player into the field at the RBC Canadian Open. He just squeaked in as the eighth alternate and now he’s tied for the lead with Michael Putnam at 6-under par. They have a 1-shot lead over Kyle Stanley and Canadian amateur, Taylor Pendrith. And because he arrived late, he never even got a practice round in:

“I really didn’t set my expectations high because I got in late.  I got in yesterday and kind of walked the golf course, so today was kind of my practice round.  I walked the back nine yesterday, actually, so it wasn’t that I played conservative, I just — I was just trying to hit fairways and greens just to kind of see the golf course, I guess, and hit some golf shots and see if I could make a few putts.”

Well, that worked out pretty good: 

“I drove the ball pretty good today overall, which seems to be a premium out here.  I think if you can put the ball in the fairway, and they give you some room out here to hit it, but no, the golf course played nicely today.”

But how does he explain it? Tour players are notorious for slaving away on the range and in their practice rounds. Apparently, all of that is unnecessary:

“I kind of think it freed me up because I wasn’t sure — especially on the front nine, we started on 1 and I hadn’t seen the front nine yet.  So you don’t look ahead, obviously, and I wasn’t really looking ahead on the back.”

“I was playing well, but I just — keep going through your routine, I was trying to stay in my routine:  Hit golf shots, hit driver and get it on the green.  I had been hitting it really well.  I saw glimmers of some good rounds coming the last few weeks but hadn’t really had much to show for it.  It was kind of nice to get through and get a good round under my belt.”

His resulting 64 tied his career-low round. Hard to believe that something so good could come from circumstances such as these:

“Well, I was on vacation.  I was in South Haven, Michigan [700 miles away], with my family, and they’re going to be up there for two weeks.  We go up there every other year.  I’ve been on the road now for five and a half, maybe six weeks, so I need a week off.  So it was kind of a Catch 22.  It was kind of a win‑win for me.  If I got in, great, I could come play here.  If I didn’t, I’d get a week off with the family at the beach.”

“They called me, I think, Tuesday afternoon and I hopped on a plane Wednesday morning, so I got here just after lunchtime. My kids were — my youngest one was actually pretty understanding.  She’s like, go, dad, we went surfing already, you go, go play some golf, I’ll see you this weekend.”

Things didn’t used to be like this for Petrovic, but the last 3½ years have not been kind to him. Beginning in 2011 he fell short of getting into the Playoffs when he finished 128th on the FedExCup points list. That sent him into a tailspin where he began bouncing back and forth to the Web.com Tour. In 2012, in finished 201st in Cup points which only got him into 12 events in 2013 where he only earned $196,000. It’s a daisy chain; he’s only managed to get into 7 events in 2014. No wonder he was willing to drop everything.

“Well, my first 10 years on TOUR I was always exempt so I never had to go through this, but this week was fine.  I wasn’t really getting too excited.  I wasn’t like praying I’d get in or anything because we were on vacation, so I was just kind of, whatever happens, happens I think.  So I think I came here with a more relaxed attitude.”

“Like we said, my expectations weren’t too high.  But I have been playing well, and even the one day, even when I got there — we got there on Tuesday lunchtime, so I only had not even a full day off before I came — even the one day there recharged me, just one day helped me a lot”

But it makes for a dicey travel situation:

“Yeah, it’s a little tough.  It’s a little tough.  I think I was spoiled for my first 10 years.  You make your own schedule, you know where you’re going.  I think this year I pretty much split between the Web and the PGA Tour.”

But even though you “have a place to play,” that can be loaded with land mines. The whole point of the Web.com Tour is to provide pretty much the only way to get to the PGA Tour these days; finish in the top 25 on the money list and you earn a card for the following year. That puts players in the precarious position of having to play Web.com to keep their earnings growing even if a spot opens up some week on the PGA Tour:

“It can be tough, and I know a few guys that pulled out of this tournament were closer to that 25 number.  I think Jason Gore, a couple other guys pulled out here, they could have played here but decided to stay and play just to make sure they stay in that 25 number.”

“So there are decisions to be made this time of year on both tours, not just this Tour.  The guys are trying to figure out — and with the new system, I think it’s tough on some of the guys to figure out where they want to be because I think any time that you pass up playing in a PGA Tour event…”

Yep, those PGA Tour players sure lead a charmed life…until they don’t. It’s nice to see one guy having some success in playing his way back, even if it’s only for a day.

This entry was posted in Accomplishment, Confidence, Doubt, Expectations, Failure, Freedom, Mastery, PGA Tour, Possiblity, Web.com Tour and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.