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Journeys: Brett Drewitt - Australian Golf Digest Journeys: Brett Drewitt - Australian Golf Digest

Sydney’s Brett Drewitt earned a second shot on the PGA Tour after finishing in the top-25 on the Korn Ferry Tour. During a two-year wraparound season, the 30-year-old enjoyed one win, six top-10s and 13 top-25s to finish 24th on the points standing.

This time around, I just want to play my game and be me. During the 2016-2017 season, I tried to be someone else when I was out there for the first time on the PGA Tour. I probably wasn’t ready, as it happened really quickly. You get a little star-struck, as I’m seeing guys that I grew up watching and idolising. Your focus gets taken away from what you’re trying to do and changing a few things like my equipment didn’t help, too.

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My game has been good enough to play on the Korn Ferry Tour and it’s definitely good enough
to play on the PGA Tour.

I think I just tried to do too much the first time. I think you’ve got to be you and know you belong out here. I want to get into that headspace. Starting the new season, I’m trying to play practice rounds with guys who have been on the PGA Tour for a while. I played with Jon Rahm in Napa recently, and just trying to pick the brains of guys who are at the top of the world ranking.

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I’m also starting to put a good team around me. I’ve now got a good swing coach in Drew Steckle and I also just brought on a mental coach, Brett McCabe, about four months ago. On fitness, I have a good trainer in Alex Bennett. I feel I can lean on them when I need to.

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What my mental coach and I have been talking about recently is to get myself into contention as many times as I can. It’ll be like trying to go into the weekend three or four shots off the lead at least 40 percent of the time and giving yourself those opportunities. Some of the events, you’re going to move up, some you might just hold your position and other times, you might fall back. But learning from those experiences will constitute to a good season.

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It has been a tough road. Going into the season in 2020, you weren’t expecting to play for two years on the Korn Ferry Tour, and I built some momentum before COVID hit. Then coming out of it, I didn’t play well and struggled by making five or six cuts in 18 events. I then teed up in Springfield (Lincoln Land Championship), which was my 13th event in a row and everything changed. I just believed I could win the tournament and it transformed the entire season.

 Getty images: Stan Badz

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Driving from Evansville to Springfield, I remember my wife and I were talking on the phone and she was saying maybe I should just come home and take some time off. I already had a place to stay for the week and had a friend (Cameron Wyper) whom I grew up with from back home and is a rugby player, and he was going to caddie for me. So my wife said to go play and do
my best and I guess I just played free that week. I felt I was already playing well and believed it was going to happen, which was weird.

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I played solid in patches from there on, which allowed me to finish in the top-25 to earn my PGA Tour card. In the penultimate event of the regular season, I played the best nine or seven holes all year in Salt Lake City. I had 11 pars in a row during the final round and dropped to 45th or something, which I knew I needed a good finish to have a bit of a cushion going into the last tournament. And then I finished birdie, par, birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie par, shot five-under in my last seven holes, to finish 21st. Then at the last event of the regular season, I knew I’d pretty much done 95 percent of what I needed to do to stay inside the top 25. I struggled at the weekend in tough conditions and the waiting was stressful. But at the end, there was some relief for sure.

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There’s been a lot of hard work and a lot of ups and downs. I worked hard at times and kind of slacked off and it obviously showed in my results. Towards the end of the season, I worked a lot harder than I’ve ever worked and it paid off. Now I just have to get back to the grind and having the PGA Tour card, it’s great but hopefully I can secure a couple of good results early on.

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When I think of the Korn Ferry Tour, it humbles you. You know some of the guys out there who’ve gone through the Korn Ferry Tour, they are humble knowing where they have come from. They didn’t have the easy road of just getting onto the PGA Tour, playing well and keeping their card. It’s a grind out there and the Korn Ferry Tour is a very strong tour. Anyone can win out there and it sets you up for the PGA Tour. When you play a Korn Ferry event, you shoot four-under and you can go backwards! Very rarely do you see a guy shoot four-under on the PGA Tour and he goes backwards. It teaches you to score and it makes you appreciate where you come from. Competition-wise, it grows you.

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Keeping my PGA Tour card will be my short-term goal. I’d love to also get a win this season. And long term, I’d love to play in the Olympic Games, I’d love to play in the Presidents Cup and while I’m obviously a little bit on the older side and  a bit of a late bloomer, I believe if I work hard enough, those will be realistic goals. Like most Aussies, I also want to win the Australian Open too, so you can throw that one in there!