As you read here last week, three-time Canadian Amateur champ Richard Scott has decided to decline the exemption he was offered into the RBC Canadian Open in order to continue playing on the Web.com (formerly Nationwide) Tour.
Scott is just two spots out of the top 25 on the money list who, at the end of the season, will receive full-time status on the PGA Tour next year, so his decision to focus on that quest is understandable.
Scott also seems to be gaining confidence as he progresses in his professional career that began in 2007 after a magnificent amateur career that also included a NCAA team title with Georgia in 2005.
I caught up with Scott last week and wrote the following column for Sun Media:
The decision by three-time Canadian Amateur champion Richard Scott to think long term and stay on the Web.com (formerly Nationwide) Tour instead of going for the instant gratification of playing the RBC Canadian Open in a few weeks was wise.
Scott, 28, was one of the Open exemptions announced last week, but being so close to the top 25 on the Web.com money list who receive full-time PGA Tour status next year, he chose to focus on that next big step in his career and decline the Open invitation.
Currently just two spots out of the top 25, Scott is apparently on the upside of the learning curve of a pro career that began in 2007 after successful amateur years that also included being part of a NCAA championship team with Georgia in 2005.
“It is a big change from amateur golf to professional golf and you start talking about cuts and you start talking about money and you start talking about (golf) as a business and you have an agent and you’re dealing with sponsors and contracts,” said Scott.
“It starts to turn golf into a business, whereas before, you always just played because you wanted to and because it was fun and I’ve tried to get back to that mostly,” said Scott.
The business of golf is still important, but Scott, who was married to wife Alexa in February, says it’s golf that will make it a successful business and that requires focus.
He says he’s made steady progress through the mini-tours and Canadian Tour since turning professional, but the temptation is to second-guess that progress.
“When you don’t get the success you want — you don’t get through Q-school a couple of times — it gets a little frustrating and I think you start putting pressure on yourself. You start thinking, `Why isn’t what I’m doing working?’ or `Why aren’t I there?’” said Scott.
That’s the antithesis of what’s needed to take the next step in his career, something that will required work, commitment to a plan, patience on the golf course and a good helping of that fun he enjoyed as an amateur to carry him through uncertain times.
Times were uncertain even when he made the final stage of PGA Tour qualifying school last year, but managed to attain conditional Web.com Tour status.
After missing one cut, he got into the Louisiana Open through Monday qualifying and tied for 36th, which put him in a better position after a tour reshuffle. In April, he had a top 25 at the Stonebrae Championship, which led to his first of three top 10s so far this season.
Last week, Scott was third at the United Leasing Championship, which vaulted him into 27th on the money list, prompting his decision to pass on the Open in order to continue playing on.the Web.com Tour.
The formula of patience, fun and work that he’s using has him heading in the right direction, but even if it doesn’t include the Canadian Open as he continues on his learning curve, there will be more ahead if he passes the test and graduates to the PGA Tour.