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July 3 2013

1:05 PM

Potter has different mindset in '13

Ted Potter talks to the media about becomiing more consistent.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

Ted Potter Jr. didn't exactly enter last year's Greenbrier Classic brimming with confidence. After all, the rookie had missed the cut in his last five starts and in nine of 15 overall.

Funny how quickly things can change, though.

Potter not only played the weekend for the first time in two months, he actually went into the final round at The Old White TPC in contention, trailing Webb Simpson by four strokes. He made up that deficit -- and more -- with a 64 on Sunday and ended up beating Troy Kelly with a birdie on the third playoff hole.

With his first TOUR victory, Potter jumped 121 spots in the FedExCup standings, which assured him of a spot in the Playoffs where he lasted two events. He also left West Virginia with a seven-figure paycheck and all-important job security with his playing privileges locked up through the end of the 2014 season.

Potter has been much more consistent in 2013, finishing 26th or better in four of his first five starts, including a tie for 10th at the Northern Trust Open. He ranks 65th in the FedExCup and is closing in on the $2 million mark in earnings for his first two years.

Even so, Potter will tell you finding his comfort zone on TOUR has been a work in progress.

"It's definitely gotten better," Potter acknowledged. "... Just trying to get comfortable still. I mean, it's only my second season out here. Usually it takes me a few years ... to really get comfortable even through the mini-tours and the Web.com Tour.

"The biggest goal I had at the beginning of the year is playing more consistent and I feel the cuts I have made, I played a lot better. I'm not finishing 60th at the events where I made the cut. So at least I got some top-30s and one top-10 and some top-25s this year, so I'm definitely pleased how the year's gone."
 
The defending champion will have some pretty heady company for the first two rounds this week, too. He's playing with two of the most popular players in the game in four-time major champ Phil Mickelson and former Masters champ Bubba Watson in a group that features a trio of left-handers.

"Definitely playing with Phil and Bubba the next couple days is going to be different," Potter said. "I'm definitely not used to seeing that many people spectating out there in the group. So it looks like a big old wall down both sides of the fairways with people, so that's going to be a little different but I'm basically going to focus on what I'm doing and not pay attention to what's going on around me."

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