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Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeGolfBecause of miracle, Tour professional makes a minimize. And emotionally avoids quitting

Because of miracle, Tour professional makes a minimize. And emotionally avoids quitting


Matt Atkins

Matt Atkins earlier this 12 months.

Getty Photos

Matt Atkins, on Friday, after the miracle, was requested simply 4 questions at Sea Island Golf Membership. They have been sufficient, although.  

Query one:

“I’ll begin with the end there, three-straight birdies. Are you able to stroll us via the feelings of that end?” 

Yeah, OK, he may, however we’ll assist with some context. Oh, however the place to start? Really, that’s simple. Household. At all times them. At all times first. The bespectacled 32-year-old from Pennsylvania and his spouse, Jill, are dad and mom to 2 younger ladies, Emma and Audrey. His footage on Instagram of the gang, by the best way, are all lovely. 

And sure, with this being a golf web site and all, Atkins is a golfer. Via his youngsters’s lives and most of his, Atkins has performed. He starred on the College of South Carolina-Aiken. He turned professional in 2013. And over that decade, he’s achieved what all however a sliver of {the golfing} globe may solely want for. Twenty-five prime 25s on the Korn Ferry Tour. A win in 2017. A full season on the PGA Tour, too, in 2017-18, the place he cashed six occasions. This 12 months? It’s been OK, with 14 cuts made in 21 begins on the Korn Ferry, although earlier this month, he missed advancing in Tour Q-College by one stroke.


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However right here is the place issues get most enjoyable, from the golf standpoint.

Atkins thought he was shut. All of us do. The golfer’s plight. Solely he was proper. He entered this week’s Monday qualifier for the RSM Basic, the ultimate PGA Tour occasion of the 12 months, and he survived.

And on Thursday, in spherical one, he shot a one-under 71. 

However on Friday, in spherical two, he was leaderboard watching. And leaderboard wincing. Everybody else was 100-meter sprinting, it appeared, and he was ready for the gun. Fifteen holes. One birdie. Fourteen pars. Come on, man. 

Then, on his sixteenth gap, a par-5, he birdied. Atkins two-putted from 70 toes.  

Then, on his seventeenth gap, a par-4, he birdied. Atkins dropped a wedge to 4 toes. 

Then, on his 18th gap, one other par-4, he birdied. Atkins labored a 5-wood to the left aspect of the golf green, nerved a 9-iron to 12 toes previous the outlet and dead-centered the putt. 

He’s in for the weekend. 

Shoot, he can odor the lead. He’s six again. 

So yeah, stroll us via the feelings of that end. Please. 

“So this week was an enormous alternative for me Monday-qualifying. I simply didn’t need to let it slip by, however I attempted to simply inform myself even when — even when it’s meant so that you can simply play and benefit from the expertise, you need to be glad with that. 

“You already know, I type of considered that as I used to be strolling up 7 [his 16th hole], and lo and behold, I end birdie, birdie, birdie.”


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Query two:

“How would you summarize what’s on the road for you this week and what you’re taking part in for this week?”

Yeah, he may. 

However how? 

How do you summarize that this week was perhaps it? That he wanted to stop?

He had mentioned as a lot Monday, after qualifying. Possibly you would’ve already guessed that, although. Taking part in golf as a job is really chic, however making a dwelling at it’s fairly suboptimal. For each Rahm and Rory, there are millions of Matt Atkinses, who’re seemingly a stroke away — and a stroke away. Yeah, he’s made these cuts this 12 months. However he’s additionally received simply over $88,000, which is good, whenever you don’t account for bills. 

And household. At all times first, proper? 

How do you summarize that?? 

Right here goes. 

“Yeah. So I’m a conditional Korn Ferry member. I received an occasion on the market in 2017. I performed the 2017-2018 season out right here. I’m certainly a greater participant than I used to be the 12 months I used to be out right here, and the final 4 or 5 years results-wise haven’t been the most effective. It’s simply been in that entire time, I’ve had two youngsters and we’ve grown our household, and it’s superior. With that comes a little bit bit larger bills, touring taking part in the Korn Ferry Tour, and taking part in common or below-average golf is shedding me cash on the market. 

“So I type of got here into the top of this 12 months going into Q-College with a chance to get all the best way to the ultimate stage and even get out right here on the PGA Tour with the change in Q-College with 5 playing cards there. There was like a two-week stretch at residence the place I used to be simply, it felt like I had misplaced it and it was proper once I was going to Q-College and I performed so poor and I used to be like, man, that’s — it was simply tough to undergo that. 

“However I knew, hey, I nonetheless have standing, nonetheless could make one thing occur, however financially was able the place paying payments was going to be virtually inconceivable. 


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“So this was …”

Atkins stopped. You already know why. You already know what he was doing. 

“Moving into the occasion was a chance, however making the minimize …”

He stopped once more. 

“And making a verify, we will not less than pay our payments subsequent couple months.

“You already know, I took an enormous leap of religion trusting within the Lord a pair weeks in the past and I instructed my spouse I couldn’t have been extra assured within the resolution I made. We had been praying for simply readability and simply course on what to do, and discernment. This week was an unknown after I certified, however I believe the Lord has proven, Matt, that is the place you’re purported to be, cease, cease taking part in for your self and for worldly issues, simply glorify me.”

He stopped once more.  

“Sorry.”

The questioner mentioned he may take his time. Atkins then continued.  

“And with our life, the place every part’s at in a private matter, it’s the primary time I’d say that, not that I broke down, however that I used to be totally like, OK, God, I can discuss the discuss, it’s time to stroll it. Having that religion doesn’t imply that I used to be going to play properly this week or that I used to be going to qualify, it simply implies that I’m going to observe Him wherever He needs me to go. This qualifying right here, making the minimize is Him, I believe, pointing me in that course of that is the place I need you. 

“In order that’s what I’m taking part in for this week. My purpose is to — if I have been to get again out full time on the Korn Ferry or out right here, to not slip again into the egocentric nature that’s inside all of us that, as a result of golf’s very particular person, it’s very efficiency based mostly and, , you possibly can’t — there’s nothing you are able to do performance-wise that makes you ok. 

“My hope is that transferring ahead I wouldn’t fall again into that, that I’d simply work for the Lord and that He can be glad with what I’m doing glorifying him and never making it about me anymore.” 


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Query three:

“Matt, are you an emotional man usually?”

Really, he mentioned he wasn’t. 

“However yeah, it’s simply been a very overwhelming time and I believe it’s as a result of, like I mentioned, I used to be at some extent the place it’s like you possibly can’t simply speak about it, you need to reside it. I believe it was simply an amazing factor in a optimistic method. 

“Like not one of the emotional moments on Monday or proper now are unhappy or miserable or must be checked out as a, ‘man, this man’s going via so much.’ It’s like, yeah, that could possibly be true, that could possibly be a technique that some individuals may take a look at it, however the overwhelming feelings have been of gratitude and seeing that the Lord is sweet and He’ll present even when it looks like there isn’t a method. 

“You already know, wasn’t positive if we have been going to pay payments even come January. The Lord says, pay attention, I like you greater than something; I’ll present. It’s my promise. Don’t put your self in stuff right here that you just see in entrance of you. 

“So the feelings have been overwhelming due to that. I’ve seen His promise and I shouldn’t have to see it to realize it, however that’s how I’m feeling proper now.”

Query 4: 

“What’s one thing from you this 12 months or within the current previous that you just want you would have modified, you’ll have carried out in another way?” 

One factor. 

“This 12 months? I believe it’s simply really easy to get caught up in like it is a job for everyone out right here. Like I mentioned, it’s efficiency based mostly, it’s aggressive, it’s particular person and it’s really easy to get caught up in type of just like the rat race of professional golf. 

“Clearly you must at all times attempt to enhance your sport and all that kind of stuff, however I don’t know, I believe it’s simply the mentality the final 4, 5 years of desirous to play properly for cash, for no matter it’s. I’m not a brilliant materialistic individual, however it’s virtually like I used to be placing safety in cash. It’s like, oh, if we may simply play properly and have sufficient sitting there to play the subsequent few years going ahead, that’s the place I’ll be safe. So safety’s not in cash. 

“I believe that’s the largest factor I’d have modified, simply my outlook on that entire scenario and never caring about that a lot. Like I mentioned, realizing that there might be sufficient to eat, to drink and to have garments and stuff like that. 

“So I believe that may be the factor I’d change probably the most, is simply being out right here and taking part in and never being so involved with what every week or what standing on the Tour will do for the subsequent nevertheless a few years. Simply be — nonetheless be current, be right here on this second and simply take pleasure in it and no matter occurs is at all times meant to occur. It’s what’s meant to be. 

“Even when which means successful quite a few occasions, if which means shedding your job, it’s for a purpose higher than you possibly can see for the time being, and typically you would be blinded to it since you’re so targeted on what you wished as an alternative of seeing the chance that’s going to return from it.”

At this level, Atkins was completed. He walked away. 

At 9:26 a.m. on Saturday, he was going to play golf. 

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Journal. In his position, he’s accountable for enhancing, writing and growing tales throughout the golf area. And when he’s not writing about methods to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native might be taking part in the sport, hitting the ball left, proper and brief, and consuming a chilly beer to clean away his rating. You’ll be able to attain out to him about any of those subjects — his tales, his sport or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.



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