Summerhays focuses on mind, body in 2010

Daniel Summerhays

Daniel Summerhays

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Our annual number-crunching package looks at players who made significant moves – up or down – during the past year in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.

Ranking/movement: 192 (+496)

Why the rise? Summerhays took better care of himself, physically and mentally, and found success on the putting green. Those factors helped the 27-year-old earn his first PGA Tour card.

Summerhays finished in the top 25 in 12 of 26 events on the 2010 Nationwide Tour, including seven top 10s. His consistent play led to a fifth-place finish on the money list, the highest rank among those players without a victory.

Number crunching

Check back to Golfweek.com every day through the end of the year to take a look at players who made significant moves – up and down – in 2010.

Summerhays said he lost 25 pounds in 2010, dropping his 5-foot-8 frame to 193 pounds, thanks to increased exercise.

He also has worked on self-affirmation, creating a list of about 20 positive sayings that he stores in a book in his motorhome. “It’s getting longer every day,” he joked.

Summerhays also returned to using a putter with a lie angle 5 degrees flatter than standard. He used a putter with the same specifications in ’07, when he was a first-team All-American at BYU and won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational as an amateur.

He also commited to a cross-handed putting grip in 2010, after trying an estimated 10 grips in 2009, when he ranked 81st on the money list.

Summerhays ranked 103rd in putting average (1.81 putts per green in regulation) on the ’09 Nationwide Tour. He ranked 20th in 2010 (1.76).

Combine that improved putting with better ballstriking, and he was destined for a strong season. He improved from 119th (66.5 percent) to sixth (74.1) in greens in regulation.

Summerhays says: “I’m just trying to be easy on myself, not beat myself up so much, and focus on the good things I do. It’s easy to focus on the bad things.”

– Sean Martin

• • •

Jeff Klauk

Ranking/movement: 321 (-217)

Why the fall? Klauk had back and ankle surgery in 2010, one year after a promising rookie PGA Tour season.

Klauk finished 71st on the ’09 money list with more than $1.2 million in earnings. His sophomore season was marred by injuries, though. Klauk made six cuts, with only two top 25s, in 13 starts before deciding to shut down his PGA Tour season after The Players Championship in May.

Klauk, 33, had surgery in June to fix a herniated disk in his back, then had a tendon removed from his left ankle in August.

He returned to competition in October, with a tie for 33rd at the Nationwide Tour’s Chattanooga Classic. It was his first of three rehab starts on the Nationwide Tour. His season ended at the same place where his PGA Tour season ended, TPC Sawgrass, with a tie for 18th at the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open.

“I was actually quite surprised,” Klauk said of his Jacksonville finish. “I hit the ball really well. My short game and putting wasn’t very good, but to chip and putt the way I did, and be right there, was a lot of fun.”

He tied for seventh in greens in regulation (72.2 percent) that week, a promising sign for 2011. Klauk will start next yearwith a major medical extension; he’ll have 16 starts to earn $613,301 and retain full playing status. He earned conditional Nationwide Tour status (T-100) via PGA Tour Q-School earlier this month.

Not only can Klauk hit balls without pain, but he has increased his ball speed by 5 mph, which translates into about 10 more yards off the tee, he said. 

Klauk says: “It was just miserable. I’d just had enough. It’s actually nice to be able to hit golf balls without hurting.”

– Sean Martin

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