World news – Cameron Percy’s unlikely path to the Players Championship


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. Â ???? Every year on the eve of the Players Championship, the PGA Tour takes all first-time players to a car wash of interviews about the event.

This year there are 17 players who have never played the event before at TPC Sawgrass, and one of them plays the role of Rodney Dangerfield in the film « Back to School ».

Australian Cameron Percy stands out among the 17 players because he is 46 years old while most of the others are in their 20s. The other boys look like they’ve just graduated from college and Percy looks like the teenage child father he is.

Percy was a late bloomer. He made it to the PGA Tour for the first time in 2010 and thought he’d be there for years after a promising start that included a runner-up in Las Vegas in his first year with the big boys.

Starting about 11 years later 164 his young PGA Tour tenure. That second place is the best of Percy’s career. His only win in the US was a 2014 Korn Ferry Tour win.

« I was a little overwhelmed at first. » Percy told The Post about his early experiences on the PGA Tour. I’ve seen all of these guys with short game coaches, sports psychologists, and athletes. I’ve seen how advanced it was and I’ve never been exposed to where I’m from.

Percy is 281st in the world and 95th in the FedEx Cup standings. He found out on Friday that he was on the field this week because the PGA Tour added 10 spots on the field this year, related to last year’s tournament being canceled by COVID-19.

The Tour allowed the top 10 players in the FedEx Cup standings who had not yet qualified for the field. Percy was 89th at the cutoff and got in.

« If you write down your goals when you’re younger than that, you think, » Yeah, I’ll be there. but it took a long time ????? ???? Percy said he played the Players Championship with 48 of the top 50 players in the world. A regular tour event is huge, but that’s a different level. I saw the course a lot on TV. It looks a lot easier on TV. « 

Percy’s two-year caddy has been Brandon Davis, a New Yorker who befriended one of Percy’s closest friends at his local West Village pub, Bayards Ale House. That friend was Percy’s best man and Davis. Weddings.

“Why are you writing a story about Cameron?” Davis asked politely, but with a curious look.

Because Percy’s trip is worth a book. As the son of two school teachers, he couldn’t afford clubs and didn’t start playing until he was 15, starting with a set of old sticks from his grandmother.

Second place in Las Vegas? He was in a playoff with Jonathan Byrd, it was getting dark and he persuaded Byrd to keep going going the dark rather than coming back the next day to finish. Byrd threw a hole-in-one on the fourth playoff hole to beat him.

« It was my decision to continue in the dark « Percy remembered with a rueful smile. I convinced [Byrd] to keep going because I led the tour with an accuracy of 170-190 meters and [the crucial hole] was a perfect 7-iron for me. Then he took out to win. If we come back tomorrow morning, who knows?

Percy also played in the last pairing of the Australian Masters in November 2009 alongside Tiger Woods, who won this week and was still the most dominant player in the world at the time.

Days later, Woodsâ ???? Personal life collapsed when news of his extramarital affairs broke after it became known that one of his lovers, Rachel Uchitel, was in Australia with him. Woodsâ ???? Life has never been the same since. « It was amazing, » Percy recalled. We talked about how good Skype was and how I Skype my wife and kids all the time because Skype was new back then. And he said, « Yeah, I did that too. »

« I thought later he was skyping his wife and kids and then said to [Uchitel], » OK, you can come in now. « It was bizarre. »

Not as bizarre as it would be for a 46-year-old to win the Players Championship this week.

« I’m pretty keen to retire and stop playing » € œ ???? â ???? Said Percy. « My son is 14 now ». He’ll be gone soon. But I didn’t make enough money to retire. Just like everyone else, I have to keep working to make enough money to retire.

When asked if he’d drop a microphone if he struck lightning this week and the 2.7 – Would win a million dollar purse, Percy said, « I think I could knock it off at the Masters and then Hawaii in January. » ? a ????

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