Thomas Pfoestl Learns From Experience Playing at U.S. Junior Amateur

 

Thomas Pfoestl qualified to play in the most prestigious junior event this summer, the U.S. Junior Amateur. The experience for Pfoestl was one of great learning as he took away many positives, even though he didn’t have the outcome he wanted.

“Thomas had a scoring average of 85 two years ago,” said Coach David Louys-Moroney. “His scoring average has dropped by over 10 shots and he is competing at one of the largest junior tournaments in the world.  Due to the enormity of this event and being quite overwhelmed, he was not able to hold his nerves on the first day.  Saying that, his bounce back on the second day shows how much he has matured as a golfer. Thomas has only competed at one AJGA event before this U.S. Junior and he was able to get fully exempt by finishing 5th in his first AJGA.”

How did BGGA help prepare you for this tournament?

I was in Italy leading up to the tournament and met my coach David at the tournament. David helped me with some remote coaching through our communication play form Edufii but other than that I prepared myself back home.

If I am fortunate enough to qualify for the event next year, I will come back to BGGA two weeks prior to the tournament to work with my coach to be more tournament ready by also playing the U.S. Amateur qualifier leading into the U.S. Junior. This I believe will prepare me better the next time.

What was it like having your coach as your caddy?

Having my coach as my caddy was a great experience. Coach David knows my game as well if not better than I do. He made me aware when I was falling into my bad tendencies mentally and technically. He also helped me gather relevant information in regard to each shot and to make clear and decisive decisions.

What are you taking away from this experience?

Again, I would prepare differently. Previously, when playing an AJGA event, I felt quite anxious as I consider them to be  important events on my tournament calendar. Now that I’ve played this event, I feel I will be a lot calmer playing AJGA events which will influence my ability to perform better.

You had a poor first round but showed your character by replying with a nice 72 in the second round. What would you point to for your up and down performance?

In day one I didn’t account for my arousal level. Even though I felt much the same, my adrenaline must have been high as I was hitting the ball a lot further than I normally would which meant I made many bogeys due to hitting the ball through the back of the green. My ball striking and direction was good but my distance control was poor.

After having such a poor first round, my expectations were lower day two. I wanted to prove to many of the college coaches at the event that I was better than what I had demonstrated on the first day. I also wanted to show my determination to bounce back with a good second round. I believe I did that reasonably well but my goal was to decrease my total by shooting under par.