KORN FERRY TOUR INSIDER
Reeves Monday qualifies for Bermuda Championship
Won earlier this year at the Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna
October 26, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Seth Reeves earned his way into the field this week in Bermuda. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Seth Reeves is trying to remember when he knew it was time for a change.
First he says it was early in 2020. Then he thought, no, it was during his rookie year on the PGA TOUR. Then, he pauses. The changes that resulted in him finding the winner’s circle on the Korn Ferry Tour this summer actually got started in 2018.
Reeves made only 11 of 25 cuts in his first year on TOUR before returning to the Korn Ferry Tour for 2020. He missed eight of 11 cuts to start the season, still trying to work through a bunch of changes and get more consistent.
And then he won.
Reeves, a Georgia Tech alum, opened the Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna with a 74 (“Here we go again,” Reeves recalls thinking) but bounced back with a 67-68-64… and a trophy.
He finished the 2020 portion of the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour season 19th on the Regular Season Points List and he topped the Monday Qualifying field for this week’s Bermuda Championship on the PGA TOUR.
It’ll be Reeves’ first PGA TOUR start since his tough rookie campaign, and he says he’s excited to test his mettle again, with a renewed sense of confidence and enthusiasm.
“Obviously last year (on TOUR) was not very good, but now I feel like a new person,” says Reeves. “No matter what happens I just want to see how I fare at [the PGA TOUR] level. It’s only going to build confidence.”
Reeves shot a 9-under 63 to finish on top of the Bermuda Championship Monday Qualifying field. He says he just tried to treat the qualifier – which took place at Orange County National the Monday following the final Korn Ferry Tour event of the 2020 portion of the season (also at Orange County National) – like any other tournament round.
“Even if you’re the best player in the world there is no guaranteeing you’re going to get through ever Monday. They’re just tough,” he says.
Reeves’ wintertime plan was to play 1-2 other Monday Qualifiers, including the one for The RSM Classic in Sea Island, Georgia, as he calls Atlanta, Georgia, home.
“I was going to try to do a couple and see if I could get in and thankfully it happened at the first time,” says Reeves with a laugh. “I was looking forward to some time off and I still feel like I’m learning. Since my TOUR season was so bad I’ve pretty much put a halt to what I was doing and I got a new team around me so I’ve been working on making some good changes to my putting and short game and how my mechanics were holding me back a little bit.
“I was looking forward to time to work on that and own it.”
Reeves ended up playing 10 weeks in a row through 2020 and got sick at the end of that stretch. His mindset went from thinking he had to play more because he was playing poorly to wanting to play more because, after his victory, he was finally playing well.
He tested negative for the coronavirus multiple times, and says he was just suffering from exhaustion. That’s prompted him to work on adding some weight and increase his strength this off-season.
“Part of the reason why I got run down after those 10 weeks is because I’m just a pretty skinny guy and I don’t have enough on me to withstand all the energy that’s needed,” says Reeves. “Those last couple of weeks I got worn out and my body shut down a little bit. I want to get stronger for energy sakes.”
One thing that’s getting stronger now is Reeves’ overall game, and that’s thanks to golf coach Shauheen Nakhjavani – who Reeves found on Instagram.
The coach, who boasts more than 82,000 followers on the social media platform, is based in Montreal and has been named by Golf Digest as one of the top-75 international coaches. Reeves says he knew a few people on Tour who had worked with him and they began working together at the midway point of 2020.
Reeves, as a longtime athlete growing up in Georgia, says he did well working with a real coach and not just an instructor. He took Nakhjavani’s tough love and ran with it.
“I feel like I’ve responded well to that,” says Reeves. “I’ve realized that the reason why I had inconsistencies in my career is because I haven’t had the fundamentals to back up my athleticism and now I can mold those together and that’s when I’m seeing better scores and better results.”
And Reeves says even if he doesn’t get the good result he’s looking for on the PGA TOUR in Bermuda, he’ll be happy with the process.
“Even if I don’t make the cut I’m going to be able to see how my new self handles a PGA TOUR field,” says Reeves, “and that’s what I’m most excited about.”