For 10 years Cameron Percy has been a professional, with half of these spent on the Nationwide Tour. It's enough time on the road to drive a man crazy, yet Percy has been able to keep everything in perspective and the rewards have finally followed.
After a stellar 2009 season on the Nationwide the 35-year-old Victorian will graduate to the PGA Tour and the timing could not have been better.
Anyone who's been on the Nationwide Tour knows it is hard work with countless miles travelled, usually by car, to out of the way cities and towns. Getting to places can be a logistical challenge, not to mention trying to get some type of balance to your life while being away from your family and getting prepared for tournaments.
For the past five years, Percy has drawn upon these experiences and kept his mind on the job and away from the rigours of travel and the endless hours spent on the range and the golf course. He's accepted that you have to cut your cloth to suit the circumstances and face each challenge as they arise. He has done all that and despite the risks, the rewards are now available for Percy.
"I came over here this season with something like $1400 at the start of the year," he says.
"I really needed to do something. I had a great start early in the season and everything started to snowball from there. It looks like I'm now off to the PGA Tour."
Back in April, Percy finished in a tie for second following a six-shot runaway victory from fellow Australian Michael Sim at the Stonebrae Classic. The US$52,800 was the largest check in Percy's career and also moved him to 14th on the Nationwide Tour money list. It was the ideal start to his fifth American campaign and would proved to be the start of better things to come.
The next week at the Athens Regional another top-10 finish and US$15,400 came Percy's way. Not only was his confidence on the rise, so was his bank account balance. Percy's game was on the up and he started to sense that this could be his year.
"I needed to do something to get my confidence back up," he says.
Percy added to the opening results with another second place finish at the Nationwide Tour Players Cup back in June and two further top-10 finishes, including a 3rd place finish at the Chattanooga Classic and Percy's season on the Nationwide Tour established the Australian as one of the tour's movers.
"I feel a lot more comfortable as a professional especially after the great start that I had earlier in the season and knew if I kept at it the results should come. It's a great feeling to know that next year I'll probably be on the PGA Tour, especially given where I was at the start of the season."
This dedication and drive are traits Percy has exhibited since playing the Australian Von Nida Tour back in 1999, and from 2005, when he first ventured to the Nationwide Tour. It continues to pay dividends for him and with season earnings already of US$282,000, Percy is now guaranteed a promotion next season to the main PGA Tour.
"I kind of feel like it is my turn to step up to the plate," says Percy about being on the PGA Tour next season.
"All my mates that I played amateur golf with have been there and done it, so I kind of feel it my turn to give it a go."
Percy also has played on the Australasian Tour and the Asian PGA Tour and with success. Three times he's won on the Von Nida Tour, twice in 2006 with the Queensland PGA Championship and the Queensland Masters and in 2005 with the Victorian PGA Championship.
Although he has been a professional for more than a decade, Percy has played in only one PGA Tour event back in 2003 at the British Open.
"I think having another year on the Nationwide Tour was really a help for me to get ready for the main tour next year," he says.
"The main difference will be getting used to all the golf courses and the people, but other than that it will be the same."
Percy does not attribute anything in particular to his fine run of form this season, remarking that he's just been trying to remain committed to each shot on the course.
"I've work hard all season to remain committed to every shot that I make, and that's all," he says.
"My only goal was to be 100% committed to every shot and it has really made a massive difference to me and it's been really simple."
Percy's done the hard yards for the last five years on the Nationwide Tour. He's been close to that maiden victory on three occasions and with the season ender Tour Championship his next event, what could be any better way than to go out with a win. Should this happen, the timing would perfect and the result well deserved for one of the true journeymen of the Nationwide Tour.
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Victorian Cameron Percy is just two shots behind the leader, Sam Saunders, at the completion of the opening day of the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, continuing a run of form which saw him finish equal 10th at last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am.
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