Perhaps Jonas Blixt already has done the hard work.
Blixt shot 77 in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open but after a pair of 66s, he will start what is expected to be a rugged, rainy and windy Sunday just two strokes behind leaders Scott Brown and KJ Choi at Torrey Pines.
How good a comeback has Blixt made?
Should he win the Farmers Insurance Open, Blixt would set a PGA Tour record by having the highest first-round score for a tournament winner. Pete Brown (1970) and Fuzzy Zoeller (1979) both won events after shooting 76 in the first round.
“I’m getting better and better, been doing the right things every day to play better, and I’m feeling really good about my game,” Blixt said. “And I felt like there was a low score out there on the South Course. I shot low here before on the South Course and figured maybe I can have one of those rounds today and hopefully one tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.”
It won’t be easy. With winds expected to whip at more than 30 mph and rain coming in off the Pacific Ocean, the conditions are expected to be brutal on one of the Tour’s most difficult courses.
Blixt is fortunate to be at Torrey Pines. He kept his Tour card by one stroke last year and, after extensive offseason work and tweaks to his Cobra equipment, Blixt is seeing light where there had been darkness.
Even after his opening 77, his instructor, Jorge Parada, told him he was standing too far from the ball and the adjustment has led to a 12-under roll through the second and third rounds.
In one stretch last year, Blixt missed five consecutive cuts and seven of eight.
“I’ve got the best job in the world, in my opinion,” Blixt said. “But when you keep playing bad, when have you a bad day at work, and it’s every day, I mean, you’re trying new stuff and it’s pretty much seven months of bad, just bad days, it gets to you. It’s hard to see the positives sometimes.
“But I tried to stay positive and at the end of the year I kind of got a little more positive and kind of saw my last chance to keep my card and I did. And that was kind of a relief.”