Player's Take: Zach Wright
October 10, 2018
By Brendan Stasiewich, PGATOUR.COM
- October 10, 2018
- Zach Wright became the first player in Mackenzie Tour history to begin a season with five consecutive top-10s. (Claus Andersen/Mackenzie Tour)
Golf is not easy, but Zach Wright sure made it look that way during his 2018 campaign on the Mackenzie Tour.
Wright became the first player in Mackenzie Tour history to begin a season with five consecutive top-10s, including three runner-up finishes, one being the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open where the Louisiana State University alum set the Tour’s 36-hole scoring record with rounds of 62-61.
Finishing the season in The Five, claiming the third spot on the Order of Merit, the Phoenix, Arizona, native is heading back to the Web.com Tour for the first time since 2017 when he made eight starts on the circuit.
Though the first go-around was a learning process, Wright’s stint on the Mackenzie Tour (which netted him a cool $88,605) has set him up for success as he looks to follow in the footsteps of Kramer Hickok who quickly turned a placing in The Five into PGA TOUR status just a year later.
Wright spent a few minutes talking with PGATOUR.com about his time at LSU, the jump from the amateur game to professional golf and his time in Canada on the Mackenzie Tour.
We had a great team at LSU, we were very close. I feel like that’s a big part of those teams in the National Championship when you watch on T.V., they seem so close knit, and that was the group of guys we had. We really knew we could compete and we were behind one another. We won SECs in 2015 and we had a great last round at Regionals, and then at Nationals it was just one of those seasons where everything went our way.
Coach Chuck Winstead was the reason I chose Louisiana State. We went to a football game, the game made me want to go there as well, but to have Chuck there, and looking back, everything he did for me as a whole; as a person, with my golf game, my attitude, everything.
Chuck’s really helped me in my life, so going there, it was definitely because of him.
The biggest thing after college was figuring out where I wanted to be. Once I finished at LSU, I didn’t have the support group around me. I was in Baton Rouge for a year and had conditional status (on the Web.com Tour) and ended up moving half way through the season. I went to Florida and just didn’t really like it there, so I moved home and started working with my coach from before college, Matt Trimble, and that prepared me for everything that was thrown my way in Canada. I knew what my swing was, and I was more confident with everything I was doing.
How cash is Zach Wright’s swing 😳😵 he’s -8 on the day with 4 to play pic.twitter.com/FHf8RssyTv— Mackenzie Tour (@PGATOURCanada) June 22, 2018
I began working with Matt (Trimble) when I was 10 up until I went to college, and even a little bit through my first couple years in college. I just never got to come back and see him, so I worked with Chuck (Winstead) a lot, but once you’re out of college, Chuck was busy with the LSU team, so coming back to Arizona and working with Matt again, we always understood each other and it’s always easy, so it was seamless working with him again.
I think the biggest thing for me, and why this past year went so well, is that I have a team around that supports me and wants me to succeed, you need those people who want you to succeed as much as you want to. That’s the difference for me this year than my previous year and a half, I feel like I have a team around me that is helping me get to where I want to be, because you can’t do it alone out there; My family, girlfriend, swing coach and I still talk to coach Winstead.
I think I surprised myself in my first event on the Mackenzie Tour (A T2 finish at the Freedom 55 Financial Open), but then once I knew I could go out there and compete and win, that gave me some confidence. Even in college it took me a few years to figure it out and get confident, and once I did, I played pretty consistently. Because of that I feel like I can succeed, so just mentally I have to find the ability to tell myself that I can compete.
I finally got the monkey off my back making a cut on the PGA TOUR this year. I played in three PGA TOUR tournaments before the RBC Canadian Open this year, but making the cut there, and knowing how I played (T50), I have a lot more confidence now as a professional golfer than say, last year on the Web. Back then I was thinking about the wrong things, and it's easy to start playing bad golf when you do that, so playing in the RBC definitely helped with my mentality and my confidence.
Being up in Canada for the summer was amazing. Going from British Columbia and moving all the way across, and seeing Toronto, and knowing that now Osprey Valley, where we played, is a TPC course, it's pretty cool. It felt easier for me to do that than go to other Tours and play foreign tournaments. Going up North, coming from Arizona, it feels like you're in the same area, you can rent a car and do all that. The Mackenzie Tour gives a great opportunity to further your career and gain confidence, really, it's all about getting confidence with what you're doing with your golf game, when you're confident you'll play better, so I'm very thankful for the opportunity the Mackenzie Tour gives everybody.
I’ll go play Final Stage to try to better my Web status, but I’m excited to get back out there. I had a decent opportunity right out of college, so now to go play for a PGA TOUR card, it’s what everybody wants to do, I feel like I can compete out there and end in a much better spot.