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Canada's Sloan sees return to PGA Tour as a product of diligent work


Roger Sloan and his team sat down earlier this year and re-examined his entire process as a golfer. How he practises, his nutrition, everything. Their goal was to make the 36-year-old from Merritt, B.C., the best player that he could be.

Getting promoted back to the PGA Tour on Sunday, the top level of men's professional golf, was just a bonus to that evolution.

"We really thoroughly defined what our identity as a player is, what I need to be doing to get better every single year," said Sloan on Thursday, "We committed ourselves to what that process looks like.

"It's not just a process of getting back to the PGA Tour. It's a process of how do we get Roger Sloan to play his best golf all the time."

Sloan made a clutch par save on the 18th hole in the final round of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind., on Sunday. He finished that tournament in a tie for 10th, which moved him up to No. 29 on the second-tier tour's points list and earned him a PGA Tour card for the 2024 season.

It will be his third go-round on the PGA Tour and Sloan said it's a testament to how he's continued to grow as a player.

"It's a constant evolution and making adjustments," said Sloan, who missed 19 cuts and withdrew once in 29 events in the 2021-22 season, his last time on the PGA Tour. "My goal always in my career has been to get better every year, just get a little bit better, every year get a little bit better.

"My last year on the PGA Tour, I had just a horrendous year as far as results are concerned. I think it was a byproduct of just getting a little bit lackadaisical in the intentionality of how I practice, how I prepare."

Sloan feels that he has always been a "quality over quantity" kind of guy, so practising with more intention means not wasting time or even strokes when at the driving range or on the putting green.

"Whether it's a putt, a chip, a shot on the driving range, whatever it is, there's a purpose to that swing," said Sloan. "We're recreating an environment that I play in every single day."

Ben Silverman of Thornhill, Ont., also earned a PGA Tour card, allowing him to move up from the Korn Ferry Tour along with Sloan. They join Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., as well as Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C., as Canadians with full-time status for 2024.

Because the PGA Tour and its feeder circuits are transitioning to a new schedule that starts in January rather than the autumn, Sloan now has three months to rest, practice, and spend time with his wife and three children.

"I think the new calendar is actually going to be really good for golf," said Sloan. "It gives guys a little bit more freedom and flexibility at the end of the year to spend some time with their family when you're on the road for 30, sometimes 32 weeks of the year.

"It's nice to be home and not have to grind it out for the start of the season just a few weeks away."

Sloan said he got messages from all of his fellow Canadians after qualifying for the Tour.

"I think it's just an exciting time to be in Canadian golf," said Sloan. "I think you're seeing the byproduct of Mike Weir, little bit of Tiger Woods.

"It's fun because we all played in some sort of amateur or junior golf together and to see everybody's career flourish and get to that top level and a lot of these guys having success at the top level, it's just fun and they're your friends too."

Sloan is the only Calgary Flames fan among the Canadians on the PGA Tour.

"There's a lot of camaraderie among the Canadians, even though they cheer for the wrong hockey team," he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 12, 2023.