PGA Tour Qualifying School winner Harrison Endycott had a plan, and it was crystal clear. During a meeting with his team in November, after the Fall series finale at the RSM Classic, they analysed the Australian’s rookie season on tour through strokes gained data. It highlighted Endycott’s clear weaknesses, and he had a month to practice before trying to earn back full status at Q School in Florida.
“We established that on the greens, I was losing minus 10.55 strokes gained putting on left-to-right putts, that my average dispersion from 150 yards to 100 yards was 53 feet and that I short-sided myself [from poor approach shots] 136 times last season,” Endycott said. “But when I missed the green on the long side, I was gaining 5.10 strokes on the field [in that category]. Clearly, I can chip and pitch, but I was making mental mistakes. But I was in that 126 to 150 category for a reason, because I didn’t do certain things up to standard.”
He didn’t make many mistakes last week in Ponte Vedra, Fla., where 167 players teed up in what was the first Q School the PGA Tour had held since 2012. The 72-hole event saw entrants play two rounds each at Sawgrass Country Club and the Dye’s Valley course at TPC Sawgrass. Endycott, 27, carded four rounds in the 60s for a 15-under-par score of 265 and won the event by four shots. “I allowed myself 40 errors over four rounds, so 10 errors per round. I made nine [overall] and won by four. I’m really happy with the way I played and managed my game.”
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Endycott, though, was in a unique position. He had finished 129th on the FedEx Cup rankings last season, and so he was teeing up at Q school with the perceived comfort of conditional status (about 15 events in 2024) via the 126-150 category.
“I’ve never experienced Q School like that; every time I had to play a Q School, I’ve gone in with no status at all,” he said. “I didn’t think it was the end of the world if I didn’t play great, but I was also there to try and win, to treat it like a Honda Classic or any other regular event.”
The Sydney native, who with his fiancée bases himself in Nashville, played his rookie season this year in the Korn Ferry graduates category and was subject to the re-rankings. In 2024, though, he can set a clearer schedule, even if it won’t immediately include the $25 million Signature events.
“On the Korn Ferry Tour, I never had full status until I won [the 2022 Huntsville Championship],” Endycott said. “I was always a conditional guy. Now, I have a plan for where I play well, and also where I don’t play well. Plus, I know the cities I like, where the good coffee shops are, and restaurants or hotels. The little things.”
Endycott’s first event as a Q School graduate will be the Sony Open in Hawaii in January. After that, he hopes the PGA Tour schedule will get easier in his sophomore year.
“My coach is going to come over next year to a few [West Coast] events,” he said. “Torrey Pines is a really hard golf course for me. The tee shots, the way the greens are sloped, I don’t see a lot of birdies. That’s a week that, now it’s in my schedule, I can have my coach on site to get me in a bit better mindset and physical shape to approach that place.”
This article was originally published on golfdigest.com