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As players wrapped up 2022 at the RSM, it felt many were bracing for an off-season

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ST. SIMONS Island, Georgia. The kids were screaming for golf balls, gloves, towels, hats, and everything that makes a professional golfer different, and Harris English happily agreed.

The RSM Classic is officially the ninth of 47 events on the PGA Tour. But along with the full schedule comes the fall break, making the event the last official tournament of the year and giving it a bit of a last-day-of-school vibe.

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For years, the problem with the Tour’s schedule, real or perceived, has been the lack of a real off-season. But as the players wrapped up their week at the Sea Island Resort, they definitely felt like they were gearing up for the off-season.

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“Like finals,” smiled Ben Martin, who was on a grueling run this fall, playing in the Korn Ferry Tour final and seven of the nine Tour events to start the season. “I have played 16 of the last 21 weeks. This week I was not quite fresh. It seems to be ready for this vacation, for summer or winter, to use the analogy with school.

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Full results from RSM Classic

Breaks vary from player to player. Sahit Tigala plans to take part in the QBE Shootout tournament next month, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t waiting for some time to pass.

“Actually I’m going to play some golf in December, I’m going to have a fun golf trip at the beginning of the year and then I’m going to play QBE. Obviously, I’m not going to grind like I do in a regular tournament, but it will be a lot of fun to play with Tom Hodge and have a good time,” said Tigala, who finished 2022 with a draw for second place at Sea Island. . “I’m going to put my clubs away for two weeks and just enjoy… I say it, let’s see how long I actually last. Yes, I will try to remove the clubs as long as possible.

There is a borderline element of obsession in being a Tour player. The idea of ​​a few weeks off probably sounds great after a long run of tournaments, but the reality is that the drive that brings most players to the Tour will start in a few days, and for many, it’s impossible to ignore.

And then there’s Joel Damen. The carefree Tour everyman ended the fall in a tie with a fifth-place finish, his third consecutive top 10 finish, but he admitted it wasn’t easy. When asked about the difference between Sunday’s 64th and 72nd in the third round, which caused him to slide down the leaderboard, he deadpanned: “I don’t know, I’m not an idiot,” he said.

Many of the players who ended the year at the RSM Classic didn’t seem to have specific plans for the off-season.

“Because I travel so much, I just love being in Greenville. [S.C.] as well as friends and family,” Martin said. “We can take a weekend trip to Asheville or somewhere else, to the Grove Park Inn, but mostly we just take a break to Hawaii. Probably duck hunting. I’ll hunt ducks, yes.

Central golf

Not an “idiot”, Damen is third in the top 10 in a row

BY Rex Hoggard

When asked about concrete examples of him being an “idiot”, Joel Dahmen did not disappoint after closing out 64 at the RSM Classic.

Damen, however, had a full dance card for the fall.

The 35-year-old and his wife Lona are expecting their first child at the end of January, so his next official tour start will likely be the AT&T National Pro-Am in February, and before he gets back to work, his schedule is full of everything. except for golf.

“On Thanksgiving we climb [fellow professional] Brandon Harkins, his mother owns a winery in Healdsburg. [Calif.]. We’ve been doing this for six or seven years. It’s just incredible, we get a lot of fun. It’s kind of like Friendship Day,” Damen said.

After that, Damen said he was flying back to Sea Island for J.T. Poston’s wedding, and then to the Bahamas. “We have a really amazing, fun three weeks planned,” he said.

Not everyone’s fall break is as fun and eventful as Damen’s, but there was a common theme among players who plan to use the next few weeks to reboot the coming year.

“I’m going to hide my clubs for about a week,” said Cole Hammer, who turned pro this summer after a dazzling career at Texas college. “I’m going to Shreveport, Louisiana to be with my family this Thanksgiving week and then in December I’m going to play some fun stuff, not competitive or anything, but I’m looking forward to a little break. ”

A non-stop golf calendar can take a toll on players, both physically and mentally, so whether you call it an off-season or just a break, players plan to make the most of their much-needed time away from the game.


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