NORTH PLAINS, Ore. — There was a time in Matthew Wolff’s life when getting out of bed was more difficult than any shot he has faced on a golf course. A time when the last thing he wanted was to travel to another event and be around people and, “screw up in front of everyone.”
A time when Wolff realized money and fame had nothing to do with happiness.
That time was just 14 months ago, after Wolff, a celebrated member of the PGA Tour rookie class of 2019, already had won a tour event, finished in the top four of two majors, including runner-up at the 2020 U.S. Open, and earned more than $3.5 million in prize money.
“It’s hard when you’re out there struggling and you’ve got to play three, four weeks in a row, and you feel like you’re in a rut,” Wolff said. “You feel like you just can’t get out of it.”
Wolff sat at the podium for his first news conference as a member of the LIV Golf Series Tuesday and talked about something he had done very little of in 2021. Something he worked hard to regain after taking off two months from the PGA Tour in the spring of last year to prioritize his mental health.
“I haven’t given many interviews recently but I feel like I’m sounding the best that I’ve sounded in a long time,” said Wolff, the 23-year-old from Jupiter. “I have a smile on my face. I’m happy. I’m smiling. I mean, I feel a little different, honestly. It feels great to be here.”
Wolff made his LIV Golf debut Thursday at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club outside of Portland.
Golfers who joined LIV have done so knowing the repercussions of being aligned with a venture financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. That’s a personal decision each had to make.
And no matter the talking points they have been coached to say, the biggest reason for joining LIV is the money Greg Norman’s group is throwing around. But for Wolff, this is something he believes is beneficial beyond watching his accounts grow.
This is about finding the right balance in his life and realizing his mental health is greater than anything he can accomplish on a golf course.
Wolff had difficult 2020 Masters
The first outward sign of Wolff’s struggles was at the 2020 Masters when he was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard following his second round. He played with no passion, looking disinterested according to reports. Although he had withdrawn from two tournaments the previous two months, he was dealing with a wrist injury.
After missing the cut in New Orleans two weeks following the Masters, Wolff decided he needed to work on himself more than his game.
“Mental illness or not being happy, that’s an injury, and people don’t look at it as that,” he said at the Northern Trust last August. “People look at it as – ‘oh, you’re not happy,’ or ‘you’re a little screwed up in the head, you’re just playing bad. (They say) Get over it, keep on working.’
“But it’s more than that, it’s more than
By: Tom D’Angelo
Title: Matthew Wolff's mental health most important in joining LIV Golf Series
Sourced From: golfweek.usatoday.com/2022/07/01/matthew-wolff-mental-health-most-important-liv-golf-series/
Published Date: Fri, 01 Jul 2022 14:00:20 +0000