Victory in the Nick of time?
By Torleif Sorenson on 8/27/12
Caddies for professional golfers have a long history of helping their bosses win events, but Chad Reynolds may also have helped Nick Watney adjust his September travel schedule by adjusting his attitude.
"He said, 'Without a doubt, it's your attitude," Watney said. "Just getting down, lingering on bad things and then making more mistakes. If this isn't proof enough to myself that staying positive is a good thing, then I don't know what could be."
Watney also received some fine-tuning with his putting set-up, courtesy of highly-respected teaching professional Darrell Kestner, the head pro at nearby Deepdale Golf Club.
"A friend of mine, Sam Reeves, hooked me up with a club professional, Darrell Kestner. He's an amazing club pro... he gave me some putting tips this week, and it's the best I've putted all year by far."
Kestner had Watney balance less on his heels and more on the balls of his feet, which allowed Watney to eliminate an inside-out path. It worked.

Buoyed by rounds of 65, 69, and 71, Watney started Sunday at The Barclays just two shots behind last week's winner, Sergio Garcia. Watney took the lead at the 8th with a curving right-to-left birdie putt and never gave it back, not even after bogeys at 11 and 12. Not even after dumping his 138-yard approach at 16 into a fried-egg lie in a bunker, which resulted in a shocking bogey, did Watney lose his attitude or focus. Of course, Garcia had a little trouble of his own on the punishing Bethpage Black course, making his only birdie of the day at the 6th and shooting 75 to finish T-3.

With the win, Watney now finds himself in an enviable position:
  • He has bolstered his exempt status on tour and is now automatically qualified for the 2013 Masters and the season-opening Tournament of Champions at Kapalua;

  • He has vaulted from 49th to 1st in the FexEx Cup rankings;

  • He now gives U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III several strong reasons to select Watney as a captain's pick on September 4.
"I'm thinking about it much more now than I was coming in, because coming in here, I didn't deserve to be in the conversation 'cause I hadn't played my way in. Someone told me that Davis said he wanted a hot player and we still have a week to go..."
One week from today, we will know.    :)

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[ comments ]
dottomm says:
Congrats Nick! NOR CAL Representing!!!
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