John Swantek interviews Jonas Blixt from the media center at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic and asks him a variety of questions supplied by fans.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Not everyone at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic is looking for a spot in the top 125 on the money list.
Jonas Blixt, who won the Frys.com Open three weeks ago, already has that wrapped up. If he can move into the top 30, however, he’ll punch his ticket to the course he used to draw as a young boy, Augusta National.
“It looked so cool to me,” said Blixt, who is 35th on the money list and needs a solo third or better this week to move inside the top 30. “I went there four years ago for the first time [as a fan] and thought that was the coolest golf course and atmosphere I’d ever seen. It would be a dream come true.”
Blixt of course has already realized the dream of his first PGA TOUR win after winning in California last month. The victory, plus another strong performance here, could also earn him Rookie of the Year honors.
It’s a long way from where Blixt started this season. “First I was trying to make enough money to stay out here, then qualify for the Invitationals, and now the top 30,” he said.
And he’s miles -- literally -- from where he began his career began in earnest in nearby Celebration, where his swing coach was based.
“That was not a very good time,” said the Swede, who graduated from Florida State in 2008 and had no family, no friends and no support in the area. “It was almost a little weird.”
Blixt lived in a small apartment in the largely retirement community and the guy who he rented it from was also a mechanic. One day Blixt asked him to fix his car. When Blixt returned five weeks later, he found out the mechanic had used the car to drive to New York and back. Needless to say, he moved out after that.
Now living a couple hours north in Jacksonville Beach, Blixt is settled in life and in golf -- though he’s still thinking about money, the same way he was in 2009.
Blixt knew he didn’t have enough money to play the entire year that season on the Web.com Tour. His roommate at the time, Henrik Bjornstad, told him to try not to think about how much he needed to earn. Blixt couldn’t fight the temptation, though, and went on to tie for third in Louisiana anyway.
“I cried because I knew I’d have money to play the rest of year,” Blixt said. “I’m in such a better frame of mind now.”
And in a much better position. Fresh off a week-long vacation in Cancun, Blixt is focused on moving into the top 30 and trying to lock up Rookie of the Year.
“Those are the two big goals I have this week,” he said. “It’d just be easier to win, though, right?”
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012
1 p.m. ET: Jonas Blixt
1:30 p.m. ET: Jeff Maggert
Wed., Nov. 7, 2012
12:30 p.m. ET: Gary Christian
12:45 p.m. ET: Tommy Gainey
1 p.m. ET: Erik Compton
Have a question for Jonas Blixt? Send us your questions for Direct Connect — PGATOUR.COM’s video franchise that gets you closer to a pro each week — and host John Swantek might use it when he chats with Blixt, winner of Frys.com Open.
Blixt, from Sweden, was already one of top rookies of the 2012 class before the fall, but it was October where he really made his mark on TOUR. He finished third at the JT Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, then won the following week at CordeValle.
If you want to ask Blixt a question, now is your opportunity. Just fill out the form below.
Also, we are now taking video submissions of questions. If you would like to send a video of you asking your question, please email the video to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep video to 20 seconds or less, shoot landscape style, and include your name and where you’re from in the text of your email.
Direct Connect video is posted each Wednesday afternoon on PGATOUR.COM, so please check back then for the Blixt interview.
On Sunday, Jonas Blixt became the third rookie on the PGA TOUR to win this season.
Jason Kokrak jumped inside the top 125 with a T2 at Frys.com. He played a new Titleist Pro V1x.Laberge/Getty Images
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Jason Kokrak is one of the PGA TOUR’s big bombers (11th in driving distance) but had virtually nothing to show for it this year – until the Frys.com Open.
Kokrak finished T2 at CordeValle, getting a crucial big payday with just two events left on the schedule to crack the top 125 in money. The rookie came into the week at 167th on the money list but left 117th, a livelihood-saving week. He had only one finish higher than T34 in 24 previous starts in 2012.
How did he do it? As usual, Kokrak was near the top in driving distance (ninth) but also led the field in greens in regulation and was eighth in strokes-gained putting, all with the new Titleist Pro V1x prototype. The Frys.com Open marked the second week in which the new Pro V1s were available for TOUR pros.
The Pro V1x offers lower spin than the Pro V1 and is preferred by most pros seeking more distance while not sacrificing control around the greens.
HOT ODYSSEY: The Odyssey ProType ix No. 1 is the company’s most popular putter among TOUR players, after just two weeks in players’ hands.
“Players are using the interchangeable weights to match a specific swing weight and to create a specific toe swing feel,” Odyssey rep Johnny Thompson said. “Players are asking for blank No. 1s so they can have their particular sight line -- sight dot, blank, topline, etc.”
Rookie Danny Lee finished a season-best T16 at Frys.com with the putter.
OLDIES: Remember the TaylorMade Bubble Shaft? The Great Big Bertha? The first Top-Flite solid-core surlyn ball? (OK, we won’t ask your age for that one.) Check out this fun list from Golf Digest about memorable equipment launches.
The time is nearing when equipment companies start to roll out new products – or at least new product hype. TaylorMade, to name one, has been touting a new release next Tuesday. Promotional materials say it is supposed to make Sergio Garcia “freakishly longer.” (Irons, perhaps?)
Are any highly touted products of yesterday still in your bag? Tell us in the comments below.
WINNER’S BAG: Jonas Blixt at the Frys.com
Driver: Cobra ZL Encore(8.5 degrees)
Fairway wood: TaylorMade RocketBallz (15 degrees)
Hybrid: Cobra Baffler T-Rail (18 degrees)
Irons: Cobra S3 Pro MB (3-PW)
Wedges: Callaway X-Forged (52, 60 degrees)
Putter: Yes! C Groove Donna II
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: The best images from the Frys.com Open
It was a family affair on Sunday afternoon as the Blixt family celebrated Jonas' win in the Frys.com Open. Got a funny caption for the picture? Leave it below … and please, keep it clean!