By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- David Lynn made a big change this year when the 39-year-old European Tour veteran decided to head to the United States to ply his trade.
Lynn got the opportunity because his earnings as a non-member last year were enough to have placed him among the top 125 on the money list. The money came in one lump sum, too, as Lynn fired a pair of 68s on the weekend at Kiawah Island to claim solo second at the PGA Championship.
The $865,000 payday, which came in just his second major championship appearance, was the biggest of the Englishman's careeer. He had earned 200,000 pounds when he won his only European Tour event back in 2004.
This week's Northern Trust Open is just his fourth PGA TOUR event as a member -- and only the sixth of his long career. The "rookie" is off to a good start, too, after firing a 67 at Riviera that left Lynn in a tie for third, three strokes off the lead.
"Just played really solid," Lynn said. "Hit a lot of fairways (8), was hitting a lot of greens (14), and gave myself plenty of chances. The greens are fast and especially downhill, and there are a lot of spike marks and footprints, so you've got to be careful."
Lynn, whose best finish this year, and only made cut, is a tie for 34th at Torrey Pines, hasn't gravitated to Florida as have some other ex-pats like Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy. He and his girfriend did a little sightseeing in Los Angeles and Malibu last week in advance of what will be a four-week stretch of tournaments.
"My base is my suitcase at the moment, week to week," he said.
Lynn, who lists socializing as one of his special interests in the media guide, has, not surprisingly, found it easy to make friends. Getting comfortable on brand new courses is always a challenge, though, and to make things more difficult, two of his first three tournaments were multiple-course events.
"Because I played European Tour for 15 years, you know every course inside out and that's something I've missed a little bit, and these courses it's just a little bit of an edge maybe for other people who have played it a lot," Lynn said. "Just hope I can sort of start putting a few rounds together."
Riviera would be a good place to start.