Matthew Wolff ‘super confident’ months after mental health break

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Matthew Wolff said he is “super confident” entering this week’s Houston Open, which will be his final start of 2021.

He is coming off a runner-up and a T5 in his past two starts, and was the 36-hole leader in Mexico last week before a third-round 74 took him out of contention. Wolff did close with a 66 on Sunday — a rebound that may not have happened just six months ago.

The 22-year-old made the difficult decision to take a two-month mental health break earlier this year. That came after withdrawing from two events in a four-event stretch, citing a hand injury, and then getting disqualified from the Masters for signing an incorrect scorecard after an opening 76.


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Wolff, who became a household name by holding the 54-hole lead at the 2020 U.S. Open just 14 months ago, said he knew he was in a bad spot during the spring but didn’t know if he could walk away. Now, he’s thankful he did.

“Last year it was just, it was a little difficult,” he said Wednesday. “Just wanted to stay in bed and work on my game not in front of the world.

“But … going through that and experiencing that, it definitely gave me a better understanding of who I am and everything about me as a person and me as a golfer. I wasn’t too happy when I went through it, but it definitely was the best thing for me and I think I’m in for some really good golf and just enjoying myself a lot more out here.”

Wolff didn’t tee it up again until the U.S. Open in late June, tying for 15th. He posted mostly middling results through the rest of the season, which ended with a missed cut at The Northern Trust in the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.


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After slipping as low as 47th in the Official World Golf Ranking, Wolff has fired out of the gate during the fall swing. He tied for 17th at the Sanderson Farms Championship before going runner-up, T5 in his last two starts.

Wolff said every part of his game feels in form, which was put to the test last week when he hit only two drivers while posting a pair of bogey-free rounds for the second consecutive tournament. He feels like the Memorial Park Golf Course, site of this week’s Houston Open, is a “bomber’s golf course” that will give Wolff a distinct advantage over a portion of the field.

“I feel like I have a really good chance to win this week,” he said. “I feel really good with my game, my confidence levels are super high, but at the end of the day, I have a lot of confidence in my ability.”


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Wolff is among the half-dozen pre-tournament favorites at +2500 by DraftKings. But whatever happens this week, he will shut it down for the rest of the calendar year because Wolff said making sure he takes breaks from the tour grind is one of the most valuable lessons he has learned.

“I think at the end of last year or the majority of this spring I really didn’t play too well and it was definitely a struggle for me,” he said. “But I think I’ve learned from that a lot and I’m not — I wouldn’t say I’m happy that I went through it — but I think at the end of the day, I’m glad and it’s made me a better player.

“So I’m really excited to have a good end to the fall this week and then looking forward to some down time and then, you know, ready to kick off in the spring and kind of change the script a little bit from last year.”

–Field Level Media



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