Q&A: Daniel Sutton
July 29, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- July 29, 2020
- Daniel Sutton hits a tee shot during the Price Cutter Charity Championship. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
It was quite the Korn Ferry Tour debut for Englishman Daniel Sutton at the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.
After Monday Qualifying for the event in Springfield Sutton stayed steady and after rounds of 66-67-68-69 he ended up in fourth place alone, and securing some status for the balance of 2020.
Sutton has had a solid summer of 2020 to this point, winning a mini-tour event in South Dakota earlier in July, his first multi-day tournament victory.
With the rest of the Korn Ferry Tour season now in his sights, Sutton took a few minutes to speak to PGA TOUR Digital about what he misses most about life in England, getting married at a young age, and what he’d love to do on an ideal day.
When did you first get into golf?
My dad used to play cricket – I’m from England and of course that’s a big sport over there. He gave that up when I was began to take up golf. We thought it would take up less time in the day since cricket can take a couple of days. I just got into the game playing with him and going to the golf course with him. I think I was 7-8 and I became a member of a club. I played with him all the time growing up, then when I got to my teens I’d go down to the golf course myself. It was like my second home – I was out there all the time. I got into golf that way and I’ve grown with the game. I got better as I got older and through college. I came to the U.S. for college and I got good enough to where I wanted to try to make a living out of it. My whole life has been dedicated to this goal and I’m getting there now.
Was there a particular moment when you thought, ‘I could really make this a career’?
Growing up my dream had always been there. In my freshman year I had a so-so fall semester. I was on the team but I could never put a full tournament together. I didn’t have any high finishes. But in my spring semester my coach dropped me for a tournament to try one of the other freshmen. I ended up qualifying for the tournament the week after and proceeded to shoot even par, 3-under par, and then 7-under par in my last round. That 7-under was the lowest tournament round I had ever shot. Probably at that point I knew I could go out and shoot as low as possible; I could make birdies on birdies and just keep going. Before that I was thinking it’d be more of a case of getting to 2 or 3-under and hope I could finish there. Then it got to the point where I was 2 or 3-under and I figured I could make more birdies and I thought ‘Why couldn’t I get to 6, or 7, or 8-under?’ Through college I had a few more rounds like that but I never broke through and won but I knew I could compete and I knew I was good enough to win. It was just one week where all the putts dropped and everything went my way… it just never actually came until I turned pro and I actually won my first multi-day tournament. I always wanted to go pro and see if I could make but that round gave me the confidence to know that I could go out and shoot as low as possible.
You had a couple of stops in college, correct?
My first two years were at the University of Idaho and my last two years were at the University of Kansas.
How was that for you, culture-wise? Coming from England you can’t get much more Middle-of-America than that.
Culture-wise, I enjoyed the communities I was in. Getting to Idaho as an 18-year-old English guy… I’m not the biggest guy in the world, I’m about 5-foot-9 and then I probably weighed about 135. I didn’t feel intimidated but I was definitely just out there on my own really being away from my parents and I couldn’t get home easily. I had a pretty thick accent when I first started out. Everything I said I had to repeat twice. I couldn’t order a BLT from a restaurant because they didn’t understand me – one time I had to write it down (laughs). People never knew my name was ‘Dan’ they always thought it was ‘Don.’ There shouldn’t seem like there should be a language barrier but there was more of a language barrier than I was expecting. I’ve been here for six years now so my accent is clearer. People can understand me now. Culture-wise apart from that, it was pretty easy to fit in. There was a Spaniard on my team. There were a couple of Canadians. When I went to Kansas one of my teammates from Idaho transferred with me and there were a couple of guys from New Zealand on the Kansas team so I’ve always been on more of an international team and a lot of people were coming from a lot of different cultures. It was interesting to learn about other cultures and I fit in pretty easily wherever I went.
What do you miss most about home?
I miss some of the food. You talk to a lot of Americans and they think English food is pretty plain, but my favorite meal is a steak and kidney pie with some good peas and good vegetables. You can get your potpies over here but it’s not the same as a good old English pub pie. Obviously you can get fish and chips here and I’ve travelled to Hawaii and California in college and the fish there is pretty good but there’s nothing like English fish and chips in the newspaper you can get it in over there. Those things I miss, and of course, my parents and my family. I’ve been over there a couple times. During college I went there and me and my wife have been over there a couple of times as well – it’s been nice to show her a few of the places in England that are rich in history.
Whereabouts in England you’re actually from?
I’m from a suburb of Birmingham. It’s known as the ‘second city’ of England (after London). There are over 1-million people in the city and surrounding area. (Birmingham) is still a big city. It’s more of an industrial city. There are not as many historic sites. It’s pretty much in the middle of country, about two hours north of London. You can get to most places in a couple of hours. That’s where my parents grew up and they didn’t move out of the city.
Did you grow up playing soccer?
I did, but I never played it to play it seriously. I played for a club team – every kid in England played for some sort of junior team. I played for a year but didn’t like it. I never played to play professionally and I think some kids were. The parents were always getting into it. I played a few leagues with some buddies and enjoyed playing the game and following it but never once did I think I could play it more seriously like I was playing golf.
Do you have a Premier League team you support?
So the team I support is Birmingham City F.C. but we’re not in the Premier League, we’re in the league below. But my Premier League team would be Arsenal, if I had to pick one – as much as I can watch it here. I try to follow it as much as I can.
You got married last September – what’s the love story?
I met Abby in college; she’s from Missouri. I transferred to KU and I think I met her the second day I was at KU. Turned out a week later we found out we were in a class together. I sat next to her and turned out we were in the same tutoring session, but she had changed her session to be in the same one as me. It wasn’t me doing the work (laughs). We hung out a lot and after me only being at KU for two weeks we started dating. It was pretty quick. We were together the whole time I was at KU, and the year after, and she’s the love of my life so I figured why not propose? I proposed on her birthday last year, in February, and we got married in September. She’s American and we moved to Colorado.
What brought you to Colorado?
She has two older sisters who are eight and 10 years older. When they graduated and got jobs they ended up there. They’re there, and one of them has a daughter so (my wife) has family there. Her parents still live in Missouri but are looking to move to Colorado because obviously all their kids are out there. She applied for a job in college and there was an opening in Denver. Abby wanted to be there to be close to family. It’s obviously not a California or Florida for golf but it’s still a pretty good golf state in the summer.
Describe what a perfect day looks like for you?
Seeing as playing golf is pretty much the only thing I do, I’ll probably end up playing golf. But I like travelling. Some of the best memories I have are travelling with my wife. She’s really into photography too and we both enjoy that kind of stuff as well. Travelling somewhere pretty cool where we haven’t been – maybe a historic site or a cool destination with nice views – would be a pretty good day for me.