BRIAN Gay’s quest to add length to his driving led to a frustrating 2012 campaign but his increased yardage off the tee helped him clinch his fourth PGA Tour victory at the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, California, on Sunday.
Long known for his accuracy and relatively short hitting, American Gay had increasingly felt “handcuffed” by some of the longer PGA Tour courses, and last year he began working with Grant Waite and Joe Mayo in a bid to gain distance.
Though the whole process has taken a while to gel, he was greatly encouraged by his fourth-place finish at the 2012 season-ending Disney Classic and all the hard work reaped rich reward on Sunday when he triumphed in a three-way play-off.
“Last year was a struggle,” Gay, 41, said after edging out fellow American Charles Howell III and Swede David Lingmerth for his first victory on the US circuit since the 2009 St Jude Classic. “It was a long year, a lot of work. I actually started out decent but the summer was long and tough. Disney helped me a bunch.
“I played really good at Disney to end the year on a good note, and I just felt recharged and refocused to get off and have a great year this year.”