Practice?! Derek Ernst (66) doesn't need it

Derek Ernst plays a shot on the 14th hole during the first round of The Honda Classic on Thursday.

Derek Ernst plays a shot on the 14th hole during the first round of The Honda Classic on Thursday.

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Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Avondale, LA - TPC Louisiana

6:37:01 PM ET. 04/23/2014




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 William McGirtE E
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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – So maybe the secret isn't in the dirt. Derek Ernst made a huge splash by winning the Wells Fargo Championship last spring in Charlotte. Since then? The Honda Classic is his 24th start since winning at Quail Hollow, and he has missed the cut in 15 of those events. Aside from finishing 30th (out of 30) at the no-cut Hyundai Tournament of Champions to begin 2014, his best finish post-Wells Fargo was a tie for 44th last summer at the AT&T National.

In other words, golf hasn’t been very much fun. Thursday at the Honda Classic, Ernst, 23, opened with 4-under 66. It was a welcomed change after missing four cuts in his last five starts.

So what was his secret?

“I just didn't work on my game, was what I did,” Ernst said. “I think my problem is I'll put in 10 hours a day, like I'll just – I just practice way too much.”

He added, “I thought I should change something up because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So I thought I should maybe try something different.”

Thursday, he made an eagle and four birdies. So far, so good.

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