Roger Sloan navigates questions about his success with the dexterity of an accomplished Merritt two-stepper, graced by understated confidence and control.
The 32-year-old professional golfer is exactly the type of guy who won’t be heard singing his own praises during last call at the Adelphi Hotel on a Saturday night.
So we’ll do a flamboyant jig, tip one back and sing a little song for him in these pages.
The Merritt secondary graduate (class valedictorian, 2005) is having the best season of his PGA Tour career and juggling the joy and pure insanity of running the circuit with his wife, Casey, and one-year-old daughter, Leighton — his very own travelling circus that is soon to grow by one little monkey.
On the phone, when family comes up, Sloan’s tone invokes a sort of wonderful terror, the sound of a husband and father who can’t possibly know what’s next and wouldn’t have it any other way.
The hellacious pace of life has no doubt been made a tad more comfortable by recent pay days, including the $92,960 that accompanied last weekend’s tied-for-15th finish at the 3M Open in Blaine, Minn.
His career earnings are listed at $1,564,712 on pgatour.com, with nearly half of that scrounged this season.
And make no mistake — that cake comes hard-earned.
The blonde-locked sharpshooter turned pro in 2009, toiled for six years on lower-tier circuits, got his PGA Tour card for 2014-2015, lost it and snared it again in time for this breakout campaign, highlighted thus far by a $112,100 pay day after a T2 result in February at the Puerto Rico Open.
Sloan is a few good weeks shy of qualifying for the FedExCup playoffs, sitting 107th in the standings with 364 points and needing to remain inside the top 125 at regular season’s end to secure a berth.
Matt Kuchar is atop standings with 2,287 points.
The Wyndham Championship, which wraps up on Aug. 4 in Greensboro, N.C., is the final event before playoffs begin, but Sloan, true to form, isn’t looking that far ahead quite yet.
Next up is the John Deere Classic this week in Silvis, Ill., a chance for him and his team — Sloan often says “us” or “we” when speaking of his game, referring to family and golf stable — to improve his position and increase the likelihood of a playoff run.
There are three events on the FedExCup post-season slate in 2019, down from four last year, part of scheduling changes that helped the PGA Tour shorten its season to avoid competing with NFL Sundays in September.
The top 125 get into the Northern Trust in Jersey City, N.J., and earn tour exemption for 2019-2020, status Sloan would love to snare.
Golfers who remain in the top 70 after the Northern Trust will compete at the BMW Championship in Medinah, Ill.
There are quadruple FedExCup points (2,000) up for grabs in the first two playoff events, making it possible for golfers who sneak into the Northern Trust to reach the next round. The Tour Championship in Atlanta, GA., will feature the top 30 vying for the title of FedExCup champion, which comes with $15 million.
Sloan is entering the stretch run in excellent form, which he apparently found after missing the cut three weeks ago at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn.
Moving-day Saturday for those not axed was repurposed by the severed Sloan and morphed into training-day Saturday, with a zen-like focus on regaining touch with fundamentals.
We found them, but, if you ask us, we probably won’t brag about the minus-13 and minus-14 four-day totals that followed the plus-4 finish in Cromwell.
That’s just not how we operate.
Plus, we’re a little busy with the travelling circus at the John Deere Classic.