A desperate Cameron Percy will take the extraordinary step of putting blind at this week’s Web .com Tour Championship in Florida in a last-ditch bid to save his career on the US PGA Tour.
An additional 25 PGA Tour cards will be distributed at the culmination of the Web .com Tour Finals Series on Sunday, with Matt Jones and Cameron Davis already assured of a place on the main tour in 2018-’19.
Currently sitting in 16th place, Curtis Luck may have done enough to secure his maiden PGA Tour card, while veteran Aaron Baddeley needs a decent result to ensure his current position of 20th holds up at the end of 72 holes.
The equation is more challenging for Percy who dropped from 40th to 44th in the rankings despite finishing tied for 24th at the Albertsons Boise Open last week.
By his own reckoning, the Victorian needs a top-10 finish or better to extend his tenure on the PGA Tour to a 10th season and has decided to go to drastic measures in order to achieve it. Exasperated by missing short putts that bring his 12-year-old son Liam to tears, Percy stopped looking at the hole and had immediate success. After averaging 1.923 putts on Thursday, Percy adopted the unique approach on Friday and averaged 1.5 putts in a round of 64 that featured nine birdies. He intends to take it into a tournament that will shape his immediate future.
“It’s a real hard thing to do, to trust your instincts and not even look at the hole, but that’s where I’m at,” Percy told RSN Breakfast.
“I have to do it and I’ve been practising that for the past four or five days. I played Friday and all weekend not even looking at the hole and just trusting my instincts. The alternative is that I’m going to miss them anyway so you may as well miss them that way.
“It’s really hard to trust yourself on the golf course to not even look at the hole, but I was feeling so bad after Thursday that I did it and had nine birdies and shot 64 and putted beautifully.”
Living on the edge is nothing new for Percy, who missed full status last year by a single shot. He was able to play in 16 events and earn $387,612 after finishing 144th on the moneylist in 2017, but knows there is no such safety net this year after ending the year in 168th position.
“A change of life if I don’t play any good,” was Percy’s pragmatic response when asked of the consequences of not retaining his card.
“I didn’t finish inside the top 150 this year so I’ve got no status on the PGA Tour. I think I’ve still got status on the Web .com Tour but I’m not 100 per cent sure so if I don’t do well this week – I think I need top 10 to get my card back, I’m not really sure.
“The whole time I’ve been over here, unless I’ve been on the PGA Tour I haven’t been able to earn a living here. I’ve had that pressure my whole life. I missed by a shot last year on getting my PGA Tour card but at least I had status from finishing 140 and got to play 16 events this year. I still had a job so it’s not the kind of pressure that I’m in right now.
“Playing the Web .com next year doesn’t seem too appealing because playing the PGA Tour for so long you get a bit spoilt. I’m confident I can do it; I’ve just got to do it. This is it.”
Other Aussies who can earn a main tour card with a top-four finish or better this week are Rhein Gibson (57th), Brett Drewitt (64th), John Senden (77th) and Stuart Appleby (87th).