Aussie Matt Jones is tied for the lead with Brandt Snedeker after 36 holes in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. They are at 12-under with a one stroke lead over Justin Hicks and another over ten guys at 10-under, most notably, Tour Champion, Billy Horschel.
Jones plays out of Whisper Rock in Scottsdale, Arizona, and has been on the Tour since 2008. He lost his card in 2009 but won it back the same year at Q-School finishing 3rd and went on to win over $1 million in 2010.
In 2011 he finished 133rd on the money list to wind up with a conditional card for 2012 which he went on to lose at the end of the year again and gain back at Q-School again. There’s a sort of tenacity in these facts.
That tenacity finally paid off in 2013 with a $1.7 million year and another $1.9 million in 2014. It finally seemed that he had settled into his comfort zone.
And he enlightened us a bit with his rational thinking in Friday’s post-round interview. It came out in his response to a convoluted question that boiled down to a missed putt in Chicago last year that kept him out of the Tour Championship. Just how bad did that hurt?
I’m sure that his answer came as a shock to the reporter because it was not the stereotypical hand wringing that sort of question is intended to evoke:
Yeah, that putt in Chicago, I had forgotten about it after I signed my scorecard. Didn’t matter. It was one putt of a hundred that I missed all year.
How could he say that it didn’t matter? It kept him out of the Tour Championship!
That’s just another golf tournament. There’s plenty of them. I’ll be there, there’s plenty of more chances to get there.
I knew I had to make that putt to get to the Tour Championship, but [missing it] didn’t eat at me at all.
I could have made another putt in that same round in that same tournament, which would have — but then on top of that you had another five or six players make putts on that same hole that affected my putt too.
Instead of emotionally spiraling down because of a disappointing outcome at a critical moment, Jones chose to spiral out of soap opera reactions of angst and anguish by taking the longer view.
The glory would come another day, he said. He was sure of it. That’s how winners think.
And it’s a lot more empowering than losers kicking the water jugs around in the dugout.
And yet another reason to love this game.