11 Mar 2021 | Professional golf |

The Players: new boys shape up to Sawgrass

by Martin Blake

Cam Percy Players image
Cam Percy has had a fine year in America. Photo: Getty

Cameron Percy and Cameron Davis are the newbies among the seven Australians teeing it up at The Players at Sawgrass in Florida later tonight (Australian eastern).

They are at different stages of their careers – Percy debuting as a 46-year-old veteran and Davis as a 26-year-old up-and-comer – with the same ambition.

Victorian Percy has played himself into the elite field for the lucrative $US 15 million tournament with one of his best-ever seasons, including two top-10 finishes.

“Yeah, a lot of the guys, they know it's my first time, so everyone has been coming up congratulating me,” Percy said. “It's pretty cool. It's like, is this really your first time? I'm like, yeah. They're like, ‘wow’.

“I was hitting balls with ‘Leish’ (Marc Leishman) and he was chatting to me, and he goes, ‘is this your first time’? I'm like, ‘yeah, it is’, and he's like, ‘that's awesome’.’’

Percy, who hails from Southern Golf Club in Melbourne, also revealed today that he battled the Covid-19 virus last year.

"I'm still struggling with that," he said. "That was in December, so that's what, nearly three, four months now. The symptoms weren't that bad, it was after. I just lost all my strength, and fatigue and stuff like that. I've lost a lot of distance and stuff."

Sydney’s Davis, the 2017 Australian Open champion who lives in Seattle, has had another solid year, and he is feeling more comfortable at the level.

“I think, the more you're up there, the more comfortable it gets,” he said. “I know I've had really good results from a long way back on Sunday, that's how I've won the professional tournaments that I've won, coming from a long way back on Sunday and just going for it.

“The difference would be I haven't experienced being in the lead going into Sunday, so that's an experience that, once I get there … I would love to have that experience and soon … but I feel like I'm able to put it all in its place a lot better now.

“When I stand on the tee on Sunday if I'm in contention, I'm figuring out what works for me better, which is more to not worry about what everyone else is doing and just kind of be as present as I possibly can in my own little bubble, and the better I do that, the better I play.”

Jason Day, Adam Scott, Leishman, Matt Jones and Cameron Smith are also in the field in a bunch of Australians that includes three Camerons, a fact that drew a smile from Percy today.

The veteran joked that the others might have been named after him. “Just a respect thing, respect your elders and stuff, so that's where that comes from!’’ he said.

Tee times

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