When I went to Puerto Rico at the beginning of the year to play in AJGA Puerto Rico Junior Open, I knew there was a PGA Tour tournament exemption on the line for the winner but didn’t really give it much thought.
I had been working on my game for most of the fall and had been home to South Africa for Christmas where I just had fun playing golf with family and friends.
At the event though, after the first round, I found myself a few shots behind the leader. I wanted to get myself in position to win, but I decided to just stick to my game plan and focus on the things I could control. It would be tempting to think about score and the pressure of the high stakes could cause me to try too hard to win.
So I tried my best to play a shot at a time and stay concentrated and focused on each shot.
I was able to do some catching up after a 2-under 70 in the second round and found myself tied for the lead halfway though the final 18. Before I knew it, I wound up winning in a playoff, which was really rewarding.
As a player, I have to work hard on controlling my emotions and managing myself. This tournament helped me learn that when I am able to do that the results will come. It was my first win in awhile and it felt so great to win again (my last AJGA win was in 2009), especially in Puerto Rico.
Having the chance to go back to tee it up at the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open in the beginning of March, alongside many of the players that I have watched and admired over the years, is going to be an amazing opportunity.
It has always been my dream to play on the PGA Tour, but I must admit that I didn’t expect to play in an event this soon.
Golf is such a challenging game. As a student at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy the past two years, I have learned so much about myself as a person. I am so thankful to everyone who has supported me and helped me, and I look forward to the journey.
Stayed tuned for Jason’s next blog, as he writes about his plans and preparations for the PGA Tour Puerto Rico Open March 10-13.