Abraham Ancer now admits that he wasn’t ready for his first stint on the PGA Tour. He wasn’t ready physically or mentally.
“I quickly realized that I made huge mistakes trying to play golf like other golfers,” he said Wednesday from the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Specifically, he wasn’t Rory McIlroy.
It was at the 2015 Frys.com Open, and Ancer was making his first start on Tour when he set up next to the former world No. 1 on the range.
“He starts hitting these irons that just take off straight up in the air carrying 210 [yards] into the wind and cold, like 5-irons,” Ancer said. “I was like, 'Oh, my God, I can't do that.' I started thinking I need to hit it higher and farther, so I started tinkering and that was a terrible idea, but I just didn't know better.”
Ancer isn’t the first player to attempt a game overhaul after reaching the Tour, and he promptly lost his Tour card in 2016 and was relegated to the Korn Ferry Tour, where he returned to his own style of play. Since reclaiming his card, he’s qualified for the Tour Championship in each of the last two years, played on last year’s International Presidents Cup team and has three runner-up finishes.
“Just playing my game and get better at what I do," Ancer said. "Like I said, it was a good thing that I got away from it. I had to learn quickly about all those mistakes, but I'm thankful that I did.”