Monday, July 22, 2024

Sharvin back playing golf with a smile as he earns maiden pro win at K Club – Irish Golfer Magazine

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Eight months ago Cormac Sharvin took a break from golf, unsure if he would return to the sport at a competitive level and had grown comfortable at the thought of never teeing it up on tour again.

This sport that saw him reach the top-20 in the world amateur golf rankings, win prestigious amateur events and play in the 2015 Walker Cup as one of Ireland’s ‘Famous Five’ players for Great Britain and Ireland, had tormented him mentally.

A bright tour career that saw him turn pro in 2016 aged 23, graduate to the DP World Tour in 2019 and finish 15th at the 2019 Irish Open in Lahinch, turned dark and the Ardglass man fell out of love with the game from both a performance aspect and most importantly, mentally.

All five of Ireland’s golden generation from the 2015 Walker Cup team have had their struggles, in fact, four players from that winning GB&I side played in the K Club Pro-Am this week (Paul Dunne, Jack Hume, Gavin Moynihan, Sharvin) with only Gary Hurley holding a Challenge Tour card. Even Hume himself is starting to play competitively again after six years off the scene.

Now 31, Sharvin has been working in Elm Park Golf Club where he has rekindled his love for the game and he showed in persistent rain that he still has the class of a tour player as he skipped around the Straffan course with a final round of 66 to finish on nine-under-par with five birdies on his back nine and secure a long overdue maiden professional victory.

“I’m buzzing. Super happy, it’s one of those things where I took a break from golf eight months ago and didn’t know if I was going to play again, I didn’t really know what was going to happen from it,” said Sharvin who made his return to competitive golf last week on the Challenge Tour in France.

“The last few months I have been back playing again and playing better and I’m just delighted to win today with the last few years I have had and really struggling mentally I’m just delighted to get over the line today. 

“I won by four but it didn’t feel like that on the way in and I knew I had the thirteenth tee shot coming up so I couldn’t relax but I’m buzzing with the win.”

Sharvin has been so low on confidence and expectations that he did not bring a suit for the prize presentation thinking he would not play well enough to win!

“I turned pro in 2016 had a few decent finishes here and there, couple of seconds on the Challenge Tour and stuff but yeah, it’s been a weird thing. I felt like I played good enough to get over the line there but to get over the line today is very satisfying considering the last few years I had.”

Eighteen months ago a missed cut on the Challenge Tour would have sent Sharvin spiralling into a dark place but last week in France he came away feeling positive about his golf despite bowing out of the halfway stage and he was delighted to further improve on his progress all the way to the top of the leaderboard at the K Club.

“I knew my game was trending in the right direction I played really nicely the last few months and I decided I would come back and play a bit more and I actually have a few Challenge Tour starts as well. I made the decision on how I was playing a few months ago and how I was feeling mentally more than anything and that was in my head to come back playing.

“I played Challenge Tour last week and even though I missed the cut what I was seeing I was really happy with and I knew my game was in a nice place coming into it.”

Conditions on Tuesday were gruelling. To put it simply, it rained all day. From shot number one at 9am to the final putt just after 8pm. Definitely conditions Sharvin would not have relished during the bad times, never mind trying to win for the first time as a professional.

Winning and shooting a 66 in those conditions was even more validation for Sharvin that he is in a good place with his golf particularly mentally.

“I was very proud of how I stayed in the moment and I know how easy it is in conditions like that to throw the towel in. A year and a half ago I would have been that person and I think it shows how much I have come on mentally which is a delight for me to be honest.”

Sharvin can look forward to a handful of Challenge Tour starts as he bids to get his tour career back on track. At 31, he has more than enough time on his side but most importantly, he is playing golf with a smile on his face.

Sharvin has been enjoying some coaching in Elm Park and while a career as a PGA Professional is a relaxing safety net to have and will relieve some of the necessary pressure that was once on his shoulders when he teed it up on Tour, he hopes his renewed, relaxed attitude can pave the way for him to get back on tour.

“I definitely am (playing with a smile) it was getting pretty monotonous for a while and I was struggling with a few different things but it’s just nice, I have a mantra of it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how I play.

“I’m trying to go on the golf course and start enjoying myself because I know when that happens I can play some great golf. Hopefully that’s the start of me getting back to where I want to be.”

Written on the wall of the gym in the Palmer clubhouse is a quote by Arnold himself: “The road to success is always under construction.” Sharvin is back on that road.

 

 

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