Monday, December 11, 2023
HomeGolfBecause of miracle, Tour professional makes a minimize. And emotionally avoids quitting

Because of miracle, Tour professional makes a minimize. And emotionally avoids quitting

Matt Atkins

Matt Atkins earlier this yr.

Getty Photographs

Matt Atkins, on Friday, after the miracle, was requested simply 4 questions at Sea Island Golf Membership. They had been sufficient, although.  

Query one:

“I’ll begin with the end there, three-straight birdies. Are you able to stroll us via the feelings of that end?” 

Yeah, OK, he may, however we’ll assist with some context. Oh, however the place to start? Truly, that’s straightforward. Household. All the time them. All the time first. The bespectacled 32-year-old from Pennsylvania and his spouse, Jill, are mother and father to 2 younger ladies, Emma and Audrey. His footage on Instagram of the gang, by the way in which, are all cute. 

And sure, with this being a golf web site and all, Atkins is a golfer. By way of his youngsters’s lives and most of his, Atkins has performed. He starred on the College of South Carolina-Aiken. He turned professional in 2013. And over that decade, he’s achieved what all however a sliver of {the golfing} globe may solely want for. Twenty-five prime 25s on the Korn Ferry Tour. A win in 2017. A full season on the PGA Tour, too, in 2017-18, the place he cashed six instances. This yr? It’s been OK, with 14 cuts made in 21 begins on the Korn Ferry, although earlier this month, he missed advancing in Tour Q-Faculty by one stroke.

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However right here is the place issues get most enjoyable, from the golf standpoint.

Atkins thought he was shut. All of us do. The golfer’s plight. Solely he was proper. He entered this week’s Monday qualifier for the RSM Traditional, the ultimate PGA Tour occasion of the yr, and he survived.

And on Thursday, in spherical one, he shot a one-under 71. 

However on Friday, in spherical two, he was leaderboard watching. And leaderboard wincing. Everybody else was 100-meter sprinting, it appeared, and he was ready for the gun. Fifteen holes. One birdie. Fourteen pars. Come on, man. 

Then, on his sixteenth gap, a par-5, he birdied. Atkins two-putted from 70 ft.  

Then, on his seventeenth gap, a par-4, he birdied. Atkins dropped a wedge to 4 ft. 

Then, on his 18th gap, one other par-4, he birdied. Atkins labored a 5-wood to the left facet of the golf green, nerved a 9-iron to 12 ft previous the opening and dead-centered the putt. 

He’s in for the weekend. 

Shoot, he can scent the lead. He’s six again. 

So yeah, stroll us via the feelings of that end. Please. 

“So this week was an enormous alternative for me Monday-qualifying. I simply didn’t wish to let it slip by, however I attempted to only inform myself even when — even when it’s meant so that you can simply play and benefit from the expertise, it’s a must to be happy with that. 

“, I type of considered that as I used to be strolling up 7 [his 16th hole], and lo and behold, I end birdie, birdie, birdie.”

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Query two:

“How would you summarize what’s on the road for you this week and what you’re taking part in for this week?”

Yeah, he may. 

However how? 

How do you summarize that this week was possibly it? That he wanted to give up?

He had mentioned as a lot Monday, after qualifying. Possibly you may’ve already guessed that, although. Taking part in golf as a job is actually chic, however making a residing at it’s fairly suboptimal. For each Rahm and Rory, there are millions of Matt Atkinses, who’re seemingly a stroke away — and a stroke away. Yeah, he’s made these cuts this yr. However he’s additionally gained simply over $88,000, which is sweet, whenever you don’t account for bills. 

And household. All the time first, proper? 

How do you summarize that?? 

Right here goes. 

“Yeah. So I’m a conditional Korn Ferry member. I gained an occasion on the market in 2017. I performed the 2017-2018 season out right here. I’m surely a greater participant than I used to be the yr I used to be out right here, and the final 4 or 5 years results-wise haven’t been the perfect. It’s simply been in that complete time, I’ve had two youngsters and we’ve grown our household, and it’s superior. With that comes a little bit bit larger bills, touring taking part in the Korn Ferry Tour, and taking part in common or below-average golf is shedding me cash on the market. 

“So I type of got here into the tip of this yr going into Q-Faculty with a chance to get all the way in which to the ultimate stage and even get out right here on the PGA Tour with the change in Q-Faculty with 5 playing cards there. There was like a two-week stretch at residence the place I used to be simply, it felt like I had misplaced it and it was proper once I was going to Q-Faculty and I performed so poor and I used to be like, man, that’s — it was simply tough to undergo that. 

“However I knew, hey, I nonetheless have standing, nonetheless could make one thing occur, however financially was able the place paying payments was going to be nearly unimaginable. 

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“So this was …”

Atkins stopped. why. what he was doing. 

“Entering into the occasion was a chance, however making the minimize …”

He stopped once more. 

“And making a verify, we are able to no less than pay our payments subsequent couple months.

“, I took an enormous leap of religion trusting within the Lord a pair weeks in the past and I advised my spouse I couldn’t have been extra assured within the resolution I made. We had been praying for simply readability and simply route on what to do, and discernment. This week was an unknown after I certified, however I believe the Lord has proven, Matt, that is the place you’re imagined to be, cease, cease taking part in for your self and for worldly issues, simply glorify me.”

He stopped once more.  


The questioner mentioned he may take his time. Atkins then continued.  

“And with our life, the place every little thing’s at in a private matter, it’s the primary time I might say that, not that I broke down, however that I used to be absolutely like, OK, God, I can discuss the discuss, it’s time to stroll it. Having that religion doesn’t imply that I used to be going to play effectively this week or that I used to be going to qualify, it simply implies that I’m going to comply with Him wherever He needs me to go. This qualifying right here, making the minimize is Him, I believe, pointing me in that route of that is the place I need you. 

“In order that’s what I’m taking part in for this week. My aim is to — if I had been to get again out full time on the Korn Ferry or out right here, to not slip again into the egocentric nature that’s inside all of us that, as a result of golf’s very particular person, it’s very efficiency based mostly and, , you may’t — there’s nothing you are able to do performance-wise that makes you adequate. 

“My hope is that shifting ahead I wouldn’t fall again into that, that I might simply work for the Lord and that He can be happy with what I’m doing glorifying him and never making it about me anymore.” 

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Query three:

“Matt, are you an emotional man usually?”

Truly, he mentioned he wasn’t. 

“However yeah, it’s simply been a very overwhelming time and I believe it’s as a result of, like I mentioned, I used to be at a degree the place it’s like you may’t simply discuss it, it’s a must to reside it. I believe it was simply an awesome factor in a optimistic means. 

“Like not one of the emotional moments on Monday or proper now are unhappy or miserable or ought to be checked out as a, ‘man, this man’s going via lots.’ It’s like, yeah, that could possibly be true, that could possibly be a method that some individuals may have a look at it, however the overwhelming feelings have been of gratitude and seeing that the Lord is nice and He’ll present even when it looks as if there isn’t any means. 

“, wasn’t positive if we had been going to pay payments even come January. The Lord says, pay attention, I like you greater than something; I’ll present. It’s my promise. Don’t put your self in stuff right here that you simply see in entrance of you. 

“So the feelings have been overwhelming due to that. I’ve seen His promise and I shouldn’t have to see it to realize it, however that’s how I’m feeling proper now.”

Query 4: 

“What’s one thing from you this yr or within the latest previous that you simply want you may have modified, you’d have finished in another way?” 

One factor. 

“This yr? I believe it’s simply really easy to get caught up in like it is a job for everyone out right here. Like I mentioned, it’s efficiency based mostly, it’s aggressive, it’s particular person and it’s really easy to get caught up in type of just like the rat race of professional golf. 

“Clearly you must at all times attempt to enhance your sport and all that form of stuff, however I don’t know, I believe it’s simply the mentality the final 4, 5 years of eager to play effectively for cash, for no matter it’s. I’m not a brilliant materialistic individual, however it’s nearly like I used to be placing safety in cash. It’s like, oh, if we may simply play effectively and have sufficient sitting there to play the following few years going ahead, that’s the place I’ll be safe. So safety’s not in cash. 

“I believe that’s the largest factor I might have modified, simply my outlook on that complete state of affairs and never caring about that a lot. Like I mentioned, understanding that there will probably be sufficient to eat, to drink and to have garments and stuff like that. 

“So I believe that might be the factor I might change probably the most, is simply being out right here and taking part in and never being so involved with what every week or what standing on the Tour will do for the following nonetheless a few years. Simply be — nonetheless be current, be right here on this second and simply get pleasure from it and no matter occurs is at all times meant to occur. It’s what’s meant to be. 

“Even when which means profitable quite a few instances, if which means shedding your job, it’s for a purpose higher than you may see in the intervening time, and generally you may be blinded to it since you’re so centered on what you wished as a substitute of seeing the chance that’s going to return from it.”

At this level, Atkins was completed. He walked away. 

At 9:26 a.m. on Saturday, he was going to play golf. 

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Journal. In his function, he’s accountable for enhancing, writing and growing tales throughout the golf house. And when he’s not writing about methods to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native might be taking part in the sport, hitting the ball left, proper and brief, and ingesting a chilly beer to clean away his rating. You may attain out to him about any of those subjects — his tales, his sport or his beers — at



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