In the Winner’s Circle with Mark Anguiano
July 10, 2018
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Anguiano captured his first Mackenzie Tour win last week at the Windsor Championship. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Mark Anguiano started the 2018 season with a lot of questions about where he was going to play and what he was going to do with his year.
But after his win at the Windsor Championship Sunday, he had all the answers he needed.
Anguiano fired a 6-under-par 65 to win by two shots over Joseph Harrison and Michael Gligic for his first ever win at a TOUR-sanctioned event.
With the victory, the 25-year-old moved to fourth on the Order of Merit and just $4,000 behind the No. 3 spot, the spot needed to earn an exemption into the RBC Canadian Open in late July. Should he qualify, it would be his second TOUR event after playing the U.S. Open in 2016.
The Californian spent a few minutes with PGATOUR.com to chat about his win, where his confidence is at moving through the rest of the season and his first-ever visit to Canada.
Coming into the summer I wasn’t sure what my plans were exactly. I had a few options, I could have done PGA TOUR Monday Qualifiers, I could have done Web.com Tour Monday Qualifiers, I could have done the Mackenzie Tour season… and that was ultimately my decision. I’m going to play the rest of the events here obviously and my expectations and goals have changed after last week.
It was the right decision for me to play up here. Trying to get into the top five on the money list at the end of the season is a goal, but I’m just going to keep my head down honestly for the next few events and after the third one in a row I’m going to reevaluate and see what my new goals are for the rest of the year.
My short game has been really good this year. I’ll hit it bad sometimes… the first couple events I wasn’t hitting it that great but I feel like my wedge play has been really good. Even if I short side myself I seem to be getting it up and down a lot. I’ve been very solid inside 10 feet putting, too. Knowing that, coming into tournaments, it takes a lot of pressure off my ball striking. Fortunately, last week my ball striking was good as well, so add those two things and you can string some low rounds together.
I’m kind of situational when it comes to scoreboard watching. I feel like last week it was more… depending on where I was on the golf course is when I was looking. I think on the front nine I wanted to know how low guys were going. Especially the back nine on Sunday I didn’t really want to know what guys were doing. I saw Michael Gligic was going low and Taylor Pendrith was right on my heels the whole day. I just knew on the last few holes I could finish strong. As long as my caddie knows what’s going on, he could just tell me something good and that’s exactly what he did. He said, “Enjoy the walk up to the last green” and that’s when I realized it was all done pretty much.
Matt Picanso was my caddie… he plays full-time out here. We were rooming together last week. He missed the cut unfortunately but right away he was like, “let me caddie for you,” and I was like, “yeah let’s do it.” He caddied for Mark Hubbard for a year on the Web.com Tour so he knows what he’s doing. He’s very competitive as well so it was good to have him on the bag to keep me in it.
I’ve won smaller stuff around the Golden State Tour. But at this level, this was my first win.
I was just talking to my coaches that this was validation. I played full-time on the Web.com Tour last year and everything seemed to be going smoothly. I had a stumble there in the middle of last year and started playing really bad. I kept partial status there this year but didn’t make it through second stage of Q-School. I was at a low point trying to figure out what I was going to do. You had to stay patient. I knew I was doing the right things but it’s just hard when the results aren’t there. It’s super frustrating. It’s just funny how it all works out. You make some right decisions and they potentially pan out. It’s easy to quit, though, on those thoughts.
The U.S. Open in 2016… that was a fun week, I’m glad I got to play an amazing golf course like that. Oakmont is probably one of the top-five best golf courses in the world. I played practice rounds with players that are top-10 in the world now, that week and seeing that was amazing.
You would think they were so much better than you in a lot of ways, but they’re really not. They have a wonderful structure of people around them and the way they handle themselves on and off the golf course is better. Their attitude fits them better than an attitude of my caliber of player. Stuff like that you have to learn, and it takes time to build that. Playing in a major like that… it’s hard (laughs). I didn’t have my ‘A’ game that week and I missed the cut by a few, so I took that as a positive. The crowds were amazing, and that helped me this week because the crowds were big in Windsor. All those things you have to hold on to for a good experience.
I was telling my coach and my girlfriend before Windsor that a goal of mine was to give myself a chance to get a top-3 spot (on the money list) and get into the RBC Canadian Open. I played in a European Tour event a few years ago so I’ve played in a couple (high-level) events already.
I’ve never been to Canada before this season started. I’ve been to a lot of other places… I played PGA TOUR Latinoamerica a few years back… but I’ve never been up here until June. My first event was Victoria and I fell in love with the country overall. Everyone is so nice and so laid back, especially as compared to where I’m from in L.A. The weather has been great and things off the golf course have been so easy.