Player's Take: Sam Fidone
June 13, 2018
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- June 13, 2018
- Sam Fidone won the Bayview Place DCBank Open presented by Times Colonist last week by five shots. (Kevin Light/Mackenzie Tour)
Sam Fidone didn’t quite get off to the start he wanted at the first event of the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada, but he made up for his missed cut in a big way at the Bayview Place DCBank Open presented by Times Colonist last week, winning by five shots.
Fidone, who was the medalist at Q-School USA West No. 1 in March, spent last season on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica after playing a mix of both the Mackenzie Tour and PGA TOUR Latinoamerica the year before, where he notched his first professional win.
With the win last week in Victoria, Fidone became the second golfer – after Patrick Newcomb pulled the trick a year ago – to win on both PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and the Mackenzie Tour.
Thanks to his victory last week in Victoria, Fidone now sits tied with Jordan Niebrugge for top spot on the money list.
Here, the native of Lufkin, Texas chats with PGATOUR.com about what was working well for him last week, his thoughts on the season ahead, and how someone from Texas learned to love snowboarding.
I had heard a lot of the courses at the start of the year in Canada were quite narrow, very tree-lined, and there would be a lot of decision-making off the tee. Just like Vancouver. Walking onto the first tee at Vancouver it was like, OK – here we go. I got up to Victoria and I got to the first hole and I was like OK – here we go again. It’s a tight track, but it was really pure and the greens were absolutely phenomenal.
It wasn’t much different from where I grew up in East Texas, you’d be surprised at the number of trees there are there. Our main industry is actually timber, so we have a lot of pine trees where I’m from. I’m from a spot that’s called the ‘life behind the pine curtain,’ because West Texas isn’t privileged enough to live behind the pine trees like we did.
You look at the highlights of the win last week in Victoria and the difference was definitely the putter. My putter was hot all week and I made a ton of putts. I missed a couple, but I made a lot. The catalyst for my putting was my ball striking. I ended up making a lot of putts after I gave myself opportunities, and I did that a lot. My driver performed pretty well, I wasn’t hitting it too far offline. When I did, it was in the rough and not the trees.
I’m a huge scoreboard watcher. My caddie in 2016, he reads a lot of books about athletes and about coaches and all this. He was talking to me about a conversation Jason Day and Tiger Woods had with each other one day.
Jason: “Do you ever watch leaderboards?”
Tiger: “Do you ever think about it?”
Tiger” “Well, look at it.”
That’s how I’ve always thought.
When I think of a leaderboard and there’s one around me, I’m going to look all the way up it and all the way down it just because I can segment what I have to do to what the scoreboard is saying and what I’m doing currently. I’m not worried about getting too ahead of myself, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of staying in my own zone even while watching the leaderboard and making the decisions I need to make in order to make the best score possible on every hole.
It’s absolutely huge to start the year with a win, and to do it in the second event is a really big deal. It does open the door for me for the rest of the year, not only status-wise, but it gives me an opportunity to get into the RBC Canadian Open and onto the Web.com Tour in the end of the year. It finalizes my spot in the Freedom 55 Financial Tour Championship at the end of the year and I believe I’m only a couple thousand dollars away from locking up my spot in the Final Stage of Web.com Q-School, if I go that route.
It’s as good a start as I could have asked for and I’m so happy it happened.
My confidence level is just as high as it was going into the season. I’ve been telling everyone at my home course that it’s going to be a good year. I feel very confident in my mental game. I feel more mature in my decision-making process than I ever have, and my game is keeping up with that. My game feels very solid and every part of my it feels like I’m doing it right. My technique is where I want it to be and all the feels are there. My body feels great as well – I’ve got great trainers at home who are keeping me nice and strong and keeping my body consistent day in and day out. I have a lot of confidence going into not only the next two weeks, but also, the rest of the year.
I’m a big-time snowboarder. I broke my shoulder two weeks after I got status on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica in 2016. I was in Vail, Colorado, which we have been going to for 20-plus years and I’m the only Fidone who has broken a bone or gotten hurt in any way on a mountain (laughs) and we’ve all been skiing for our entire lives.
We went to Whistler a long time ago and I’ve been snowboarding my whole life and it’s definitely my favourite hobby outside of golf.
I had never played any golf in Canada until 2016 in Winnipeg and Calgary, other than that, I had never played in Canada. But, so far so good!