By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
SAN MARTIN, Calif. – The 2013-14 season here, and Jonas Blixt is beginning it with defense of his first PGATOUR title. The 29-year-old Swede used the time since his last start, the BMW Championship, to rest and make some swing tweaks, a difficult thing to do during the week-to-week grind of competition.
“I think the biggest part for me was I was so tired. Just played so much golf this year, and it was hard, my brain wanted to do something and my body didn’t want to do it,” he said. “I think these two-and-a-half weeks that I (had) off have just been helping me to get my body and mind the way they are supposed to be.”
Blixt, a PGA TOUR rookie in 2012, shot four consecutive rounds in the 60s at last year’s Frys.com Open (66-68-66-68) to finish one shot ahead of Tim Petrovic and Jason Kokrak.
“I expect myself to play well this week,” Blixt said. “I like the golf course. I’ve played well here before. I love the place. ... I think that's the biggest thing coming into this week, that you're so excited to play the golf course that that's going to help me make a couple more birdies.”
Blixt is part of the premiere grouping Thursday morning at CordeValle Resort. He’s playing with Gary Woodland and Billy Horschel; the threesome tees off No. 10 at 7:40 a.m. Woodland and Horschel both qualified for the 2013 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. All three players won in 2013. Woodland claimed the Reno-Tahoe Open, Horschel won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and Blixt won his second TOUR title at The Greenbrier Classic.
Blixt made seven of his final eight cuts in the 2013 PGA TOUR season, starting with his Greenbrier win. He also finished fourth at the PGA Championship, his best showing in a major. He played alongside fellow Swede Henrik Stenson in the final round. Stenson went on to win the FedExCup; Blixt could be its early leader if he could replicate last year’s fall. He also finished third at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
The FedExCup points make the fall more important, but Blixt’s goals remain the same.
“For us players, it’s a golf tournament,” Blixt said. “We come here to win it. I get really excited every time I tee up.”