Golf Australia

Percy defies odds, earns card

Cameron Percy

Cameron Percy has quietly completed one of golf’s most under-rated comebacks.

Percy, 45, carded a workmanlike two-under-par 69 today at the Boise Open to lock up his PGA Tour card for next season with a week to spare in the Korn Ferry Tour finals.

His -13 total gave him a share of 11th in Idaho, meaning he’s now 12th in the three-week finals series and safely in the top 25 who’ll get their tickets to the main tour.

And while that all sounds relatively straightforward, it’s a far cry from April this season when the veteran Victorian suffered an injury that threatened his golfing future.

“Yeah, I’m pretty happy right now,” said Percy, who has “lost count” of how many times he’s graduated to the PGA Tour. “I think that’s about eight or nine now, depending on how you judge it – too many, anyhow!

“I didn’t think this year was going to end like this for a long time.”

Percy took his young family on a short holiday in April knowing that he would soon have more than three months on the road trying to earn back his PGA Tour card.

“I was Atlantis (theme water park) in Bahamas, a dream trip with the kids it was meant to be, and I just slipped not long before we were going to leave,” Percy said.

“I didn’t really know what I’d done, just that it was numb and I was pretty sore. I had scans (when I got home) … and it turned out I had broken a bone in my left wrist.

“Then I spoke to a few mates who’d had the same sort of injury and they’ve never been able to play golf again … so yeah, I was pretty worried at that stage.”

From the Australian Open last year – when Percy finished fifth at The Lakes – until that point in the KFT season, he’d finished twice in the top six, twice more in the top 16 and not lower than 35th in just six starts in 2019.

So despite that great form base, Percy returned in June after 10 weeks off knowing precious little about how he’d fare.

And, remarkably, that trend has continued, even into this weekend in Idaho.

“I’m actually amazed I’ve done it because I haven’t really been able to practise. It was numb for weeks and … my ring finger on my left hand is still numb,” he said.

“I guess that I’m about 65-70% (of full strength in my arm) maybe and I keep hooking a lot of shots because I can’t hold on to the club with any power.”

Adding to Percy’s achievement in Boise is that he struck a drive into a tree on the fifth hole of his tournament – the par-four 14th at Hillcrest Country Club – and despite a gathering of nearby marshals, could not find the ball which they assumed had become wedged in the tree.

At that point, he’d been three over par and, on a course renowned as “gettable”, facing a large problem.

“But I just plugged away at it, had an eagle on the second and found my groove,” he said.

“I actually played really well on the third day, just everything went where I was aiming for a while … that’s a nice feeling.”

Percy sealed the deal well away from the victory that later followed for American Matthew NeSmith, but was clearly delighted when his last par putt dropped to provide the surety of his 2019-20 card.

With New South Welshman Rhein Gibson having already qualified through the year, there remains strong hope for four other Aussies as the KFT Championship heads to the Victoria National Golf Club in Indiana this week.

Perth’s Curtis Luck agonisingly missed by one stroke the cut that would have locked away his card, but still is ranked 15th.

Sydney’s Cam Davis shared 25th in Boise, leaving him in a share of 34th overall and likely needing a top-20 finish this week.

Jamie Arnold missed the cut and, at 18th, likely needs to make the cut this week, while Brett Coletta also missed out this week and fell to 82nd, meaning a top-six finish is likely required this week.

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