Q&A: Jason Roets on his PGA Tour debut

Jason Roets at the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open.

Jason Roets at the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open.

The 18-year-old South African made his PGA Tour debut last week at the Puerto Rico Open – the reward for winning an AJGA event on the Caribbean island in January. Roets, a student at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, shot 76-71 to miss the cut by four strokes. He spoke with Golfweek from Rio Grande, where he practiced with Joe Ogilvie, capped his opening round with a birdie and learned that, with a few tweaks, he could be back on Tour in a few years.

What were some of your goals for the week?

I wanted to go out there and learn as much as I could. It doesn’t happen often for kids my age to play an event like this. To be able to compete with the pros, to show that it is possible for me to do it, that’s an awesome experience.

What was it like playing that first round?

On the first tee, seeing all the people up there, I was pretty nervous. The front nine, I really focused on score, which I think is why I didn’t play that great (front-nine 40). I was focused more on making the cut, and I ended up just putting more pressure on myself. It’ll be easier for me next time, because it was hard for me to know what to expect.

What do you learn from this experience?

I really saw that my game is good enough to be out there, with a little bit of work. There are so many people out there that don’t have the perfect swing, guys that can just go out there and get the job done. They have the self-belief, and that’s something I’m working on.

What did you do for fun in Puerto Rico?

We went out on the town to look around, visited Old San Juan and went to the rainforest. My family still lives in South Africa, and my brother was carrying the bag for me this week (Nicholas, 27, lives in London), so it was nice to reconnect with them.

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