Wednesday, December 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Watney has eyes on the prize this season

By
From page B1 | January 31, 2014 |

Nick Watney

DHS graduate Nick Watney watches a shot at a tournament last season. Watney opened the Phoenix Open on Thursday by shooting a 2-under 69. AP photo

Nick Watney has winning on his mind this year on the PGA Tour.

In one of the hardest individual sports one can play, the 1999 Davis High graduate is finding that a simple approach to each day and each golf shot may be his best way to return to the coveted winner’s circle. The 32-year-old’s last win came in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia in October of 2012.

This new 2013-14 wrap-around Tour season technically started in October. Watney played in three events on the 2013 side of the season and this week he tees it up for the second time on the 2014 side. Last week he finished tied for 59th at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, an event he won in 2009.

“I feel like I’m making progress with my game,” Watney said. “Last week wasn’t the result I wanted but I figure that’s going to happen. But I’m very excited and I’m really looking forward to playing a few tournaments and seeing how I go.”

Watney fired a 2-under 69 on Thursday and is tied for 40th in this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The conditions in the Arizona desert have been comfortable with a high of 74 degrees on Thursday.

“I think the course is in great shape,” Watney said. “Scores are going to be fairly low but if you go out and just try to make birdies you could end up going the wrong way in a hurry. So it’s about the first hole, first shot, and then see what happens.”

Watney also enjoyed pristine weather in San Diego. Last Monday, he had a chance to partake in surfing, a hobby he enjoys but doesn’t believe he does well …

“I’m definitely not good at it. Sometimes when I’m out (on the road) I figure I’m a decent player and it’s really hard to improve a couple of shots a week,” Watney said. “I feel like when I’m surfing I can improve a lot in a short amount of time. So it’s fun to try new stuff, it’s a pretty cleansing thing. You’re out there in nature, in the waves.”

Watney also is looking to improve on the course this season — in the form of wins.

“I’d definitely like to win once, maybe twice, maybe three times,” Watney said. “That would be the ultimate goal and so that’s what I’m going for.”

To put himself in position to do that each week, the former Blue Devil thinks a simple thought process will be the best way to focus.

“For me, it’s to think about it as little as possible,” Watney explained. “Just to play the first hole the first day and go from there. Some guys can think about winning right away before they tee off. I can’t do that and perform my best.”

At this weekend’s tournament, he trails the leaders Y.E. Yang and 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson by five strokes as both set the pace at 7-under par at TPC Scottsdale on Thursday.

Watney’s 2014 season includes a unique addition to the schedule: He and his wife Amber are expecting their first child in March.

“We’re really excited, it’s a life-changing thing,” Watney said. “We’ve studied up some books and talked to people. We think we know (what to do) but we probably don’t, but we’re really excited.”

Watney takes a measured approach to how his profession fits in the context of his family.

“Golf is not life, so you’ve gotta live life first,” Watney said. “Family is the most important thing so I’ll just have to work smarter and not necessarily have as many hours.”

— Garrett Johnston is a freelance golf writer based in Sacramento. He has been covering the PGA Tour for the past nine years, and has followed Watney closely for the past four.

Comments

comments

Garrett Johnston

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Supervisors remove Saylor from First 5 Yolo Commission

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    GPAS and test scores up for UCD’s newest undergrads

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A1

     
    Million Cat Challenge aims to rescue shelter felines

    By Pat Bailey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Everest visit fulfills judge’s lifelong dream

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    U.S., Cuba seek to normalize relations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Water officials fret over rain’s effects

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Bob Dunning: Not enough hours in the month

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Fatal Capay crash leads to driver’s arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Yolo Crisis Nursery in full swing

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Creative women share food, friendship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Donate to STEAC at Original Steve’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Beer and film tour boosts bike group’s coffers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Overeaters get support at meetings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Fibro Friends will update their journals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Input sought on county’s facility needs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Traditional carols service is Saturday at St. Martin’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Have coffee with the mayor on Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Stockings brighten holidays for special kids

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Evening tai chi classes start Jan. 6

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Name Droppers: Law prof earns peace prize for nonfiction

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Community menorah lighting set Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Latest immunization data shows little improvement locally

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

    School board will vote on repairs, new portables

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A6

     
    Study: National monument could boost local economy

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Round up at the registers for Patwin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Parent/toddler art and music program offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Libraries will be closed around the holidays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Cloudy — yet safe — tap water adds to negative health effects

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Come Worship with Us

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    This ought to teach her love

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Language failed me that night, but not now

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A8

    Steve Sack cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

     
    Grand jury function clarified

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Defying Western academic norms

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Boycotters are our future profs

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Many thanks to The Avid Reader

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

     
    UCD reveals a challenging softball schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Tumey talks about state of Aggie athletics, where they’re headed

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Davis gets Rio Linda as Curry Invitational starts Thursday

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Westbrook, Durant lead Thunder past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Former Aggie Descalso inks deal with Colorado

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Some vegetables just can’t be beet

    By Julie Cross | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6