Cameron Percy- a form turnaround provides a share of the lead – file photo Henry Peters
Victorian Cameron Percy shares the 54 hole lead at the Safeway Open in Napa in California, the now 46 year old chasing his first win on the PGA Tour after first becoming a member in 2010.
Percy is tied at the top of the leader-board with Americans James Hahn and Brian Stuard, but after a season on the PGA Tour where he has been unable to finish better than 25th in any event since this very same tournament last year, his showing is a major turnaround and if he is able to go and win tomorrow then it will provide a career changing moment.
“It would mean the world to me,” said Percy when asked what a win tomorrow would mean.
“It would be fantastic. It would mean I get to go to Augusta, which is a goal. I’ve never been to Augusta, which is the biggest goal you have when you come over here. I just thought I’d get there, I haven’t got there yet, so it’s a big deal.”
Percy finished 7th in this event last year, soon after regaining his playing privileges via the then Web.Com Tour Finals but in 15 PGA Tour events since he has missed eight cuts and been forced to withdraw from events on two occasions.
He has been able to retain his playing privileges for the new season because of the carry over aspect of status due to the Covid 19 crisis however and is making the most of it thus far.
Percy’s best finish to date on the PGA Tour came in that rookie year of 2010 when finishing second after a playoff against Jonathan Byrd in the Justin Timberlake event in Las Vegas. Byrd actually holed his tee shot at the 4th extra hole during the playoff to end the battle as darkness fell.
Injury free after a series of issues with a broken wrist and his ribs, Percy has clearly found form and tomorrow offers a chance to re-establish himself on the PGA Tour and improve his standing so early in the new season.
He puts his improvement down to being injury free and a new putting device and putter he has adopted of late.
“I saw Justin Rose practicing at Wyndham and he had this laser that he would line his putter up and his caddie would take his ball away and see where he’s lined up. I used his laser and then I bought one in the time I had off. I got it and my putter was nowhere near where I thought I was lined up.”
A new putter has also played its role. “I had a few putters at home and I noticed a few guys use those SIK putters and I asked them for one and they gave me one and it was the one I line up the best every time. So that’s half the battle, lining up where you’re looking. I hit a lot of putts online this week. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m at the top of the putting, for sure.”
Percy gets to play in the penultimate group tomorrow with 4th placed Kristoffer Ventura ahead of the final pairing of Stuard and Hahn.
The playoff to end Percy’s hopes of a first PGA Tour win in 2010.