Sloan discusses breakout PGA Tour season, looks ahead to 2019-2020 and sets target on Olympics

Merritt golfer will host kids' clinic in hometown later this month

Roger Sloan’s career-best season ended on the weekend after the first event of the FedExCup playoffs, the Northern Trust at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey.

The 32-year-old Merritt golfer finished the tournament one-under-par and tied for 64th, good for a paycheque of $19,425.

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Patrick Reed posted a 16-under-par, four-day total of 268 to win the event and about $1.6 million.

Sloan needed to be inside the top 70 in FedExCup standings after the Northern Trust to advance to the next event, the BMW Championship this week in Medinah, Ill., but dropped to 93rd from 91st to miss the cut.

The Houston, Tex., resident earned $1,015,611 this season, thanks in part to seven top-25 finishes, including three top-three results, to bring his career earnings to $1,845,515.

Sloan, whose 2019 exploits included his first FedExCup playoffs berth and securing his PGA Tour card for 2019-2020, spoke to KTW on Tuesday.

“The goal at the beginning of the season was to get out of that Web.com category and retain full status for next season,” Sloan said. “That was mission accomplished.

“When I go back to the drawing board with my team, it’s business as usual. What did we learn from this year? What are the adjustments going forward?

“But very successful year and I’m really excited to make some adjustments and get better for next season.”

The 2019-2020 PGA Tour season begins with A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, a tournament that gets underway on Sept. 12 in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.

Sloan has about one month to blow off steam and enjoy time with family, which includes wife, Casey, and one toddler daughter, Leighton.

Child No. 2 is due on Dec. 1.

“It definitely changes the dynamic, but you just make those adjustments because it’s an absolute blessing for us that we get to travel as a family,” Sloan said.

“We’re feeling it out right now. We’ve gotten a lot of advice.”

Sloan is 204th in World Golf Rankings. He began the 2018-2019 season ranked 474th.

Major perks — exemption to majors and World Golf Championships events, for example — start to become a possibility once golfers get a sniff of the top 60 and rewards increase as they climb the ladder.

But there is one rare carrot dangling next season, a juicy morsel Canadians salivate over every four years.

The top two Canadian men in World Golf Rankings as of June 22, 2020, will represent the country at the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, with the tournament slated to run from July 30 to Aug. 2.

“That’s on all of the Canadians’ radar,” Sloan said. “That would be a dream come true to call yourself an Olympian and represent your country on the biggest athletic stage in the world.”

Sloan would be on the outside looking in if the Canadian team was announced today.

Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford is 65th, Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., is 84th and Mackenzie Hughes of Hamilton is 193rd. Behind Sloan is Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, 251st.

“There is a little bit of a dogfight there for all of us,” Sloan said. “It’s going to be an exciting summer, for sure.”

The 2019 portion of the 2019-2020 PGA Tour schedule is lighter than the post-Christmas slate for Sloan, who has 12 weeks off between this week and the Sony Open, which gets underway on Jan. 9 in Honolulu.

A return home this month will allow him to get back to his roots.

Sloan will play host to a free junior golf clinic at the Merritt Golf and Country Club from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 28. The under-18 clinic is for kids and teenagers from the Interior and Okanagan area.

Pre-register online at signupgenius.com/go/rogersloanjuniorclinic.

“When I was a little kid, I was just doing laps around a little nine-hole golf course there,” Sloan said. “I’m a little bit saddened that there is no junior golf program in Merritt.

“Hopefully, this can create a little bit of awareness for the need for a program, encourage kids to have a good time and spark a little bit of interest for the younger generation to play the great game of golf.”

© Kamloops This Week

 


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