Two months ago, Ted Potter Jr. was worried about making cuts. Now, his biggest question mark is how far he will make it in this year’s FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Potter, two-time NGA TOUR player of the year and owner of seven NGA TOUR Pro Series victories, won the Greenbrier Classic in early July and no longer has to worry about the uncertainties of making cuts and keeping his card.
Instead, he now has to worry about playing in all the major championships and WGC events. Potter made his major championship debut at the Open Championship at Royal Lytham in July where he made the cut. This week he made his PGA Championship debut. Despite missing the cut, Potter is happy with the chance to play in the biggest tournaments golf has to offer.
“The biggest thing is just getting in bigger tournaments,” Potter said about winning on the PGA Tour. “My life hasn’t really changed yet, but next year and the year after my schedule will be much different.”
Potter had a legendary career on the NGA TOUR, earning more than $600,000 in his career, including seven wins on the Pro Series and five wins on the Winter Series.
“The NGA TOUR is definitely good preparation to get here,” Potter said. “They are four-day events with pro-ams and practices rounds just like out here.”
Potter went on to discuss the quality of the fields and how competing against better players prepares you for the next level.
“There are so many great players out there [on the NGA TOUR]. You’ve got to stay on top of your game. It is definitely a great tour to start out on.”
Staying positive during bad stretches of play is imperative for players trying to make it on the PGA Tour, because players are bound to go through valleys. Keegan Bradley, a former NGA TOUR champion and defending PGA Champion, said on Tuesday that it is important to stay positive.
“It can change in one week,” Bradley said. “One week you are struggling, and then you win like I did [Bradley won the 2010 Texas Honing Open on the NGA TOUR] and it went from being a decent year to a great year.”
Following Bradley’s strong year on the NGA TOUR, he qualified for the Web.com Tour through Q-School and the rest is history. He is now a fixture on the PGA Tour and added another win last week at the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in Akron, Ohio.
Potter knows all about adversity. In 2004 he was fully exempt on the Web.com Tour and didn’t make a cut all season. When asked about advice he would give current NGA TOUR players, Potter echoed Bradley’s sentiments.
“You just have to keep working hard if the PGA Tour is where you want to be,” Potter said. “You have to keep grinding.”
Now that he has the two-year exemption to the PGA Tour that comes with winning a tournament, Potter will be grinding on a very different stage. He plans to take next week off and then will try and advance as far as he can in the FedEx Cup playoffs; he is currently 53rd in the FedEx Cup standings.