ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Golf courses just opened up across the state of New Mexico, and across the board, it seems like things are getting more back to normal when it comes to golf. Local pro, Sean Carlon is now gearing up to play in the Scottsdale Open in Arizona, which is the first big professional tournament to be played in the southwest since the pandemic started.
Carlon just wrapped up his practice round on Monday and will compete from Tuesday to Thursday with the winning prize being $20,000. Carlon made the decision to move down to Phoenix prior to this event, to get his career back in motion.
“I just, its like hard practicing in a net. I mean, it’s just so different and I knew that Phoenix was so close. I have places to stay with friends here, so I made the decision to come over about three weeks ago, play in a couple of tune-up events and then get ready for this one and then make my way back over to Albuquerque once everything kind of settles in,” said Carlon.
Carlon has had a whirlwind first year as a pro, as he has battled adversity, growing pains, and this pandemic. “You are coming out of college, after a good year and you are expecting like, oh I am going to take this by storm you know, and you are very wrong. It takes a little bit because you are traveling more, playing for money and it just makes a big difference. I was getting beat down pretty good early, so you just gradually start coming back up and you get hit with this, it’s just like, I mean what do you do. It’s just like a crazy wild ride right now and you don’t have any Q school [Qualifying School], so the earliest realistically that you can get on the PGA Tour now is 2023,” said Carlon.
Carlon may have had his hopes at the PGA Tour put on hold, but he is remaining positive. He had a career-best fourth-place finish this past year as a pro and he feels that stepping away from the game has made him mentally stronger.
“That time away from everything and kind of looking at everything from a different perspective. Starting to appreciate everything that you don’t have anymore, like being able to practice. Instead of looking at it as a drag almost, like oh I don’t want to go practice like when I got back out here, you have to pull me away from the course right now. You know, I think I’m mentally refreshed,” said Carlon.