Golf: Tough year but Geary determined

If you think the life of a professional golfer living and playing in the United States is all big cheques, glamour and a lavish lifestyle, then think again.

Beneath the top tier of players are thousands of pros struggling, waiting for their chance to compete, to have that good week which kick-starts their careers.

Former Otumoetai and Mount Maunganui club member Josh Geary has endured one of the toughest years of his life, unable to get starts in regular tour events, and under pressure to play almost perfect golf when the rare chance arises.

But the affable former Otumoetai College student is not giving up on his dreams yet - far from it.

Along with fellow Bay of Plenty pro, Brad Iles, he has set up camp in South Carolina and the two 28-year-olds are looking forward to doing well at the two home pro-am's this week, before having a serious crack at lucrative Australian tournaments next month.

"This year has been pretty tough for both of us," said Geary.

"Brad had no status on the Nationwide Tour so he was playing the eGolf tour events, which are pay-to-play and get pretty expensive.

"It is really tough to make any money or even get by. He played that most of the year and is playing good but not having many starts so there is not much he can do about it.

"I was kind of the same way. I had conditional status and then I made some changes to my swing this time last year but it didn't quite come to fruition early enough in the first three or four starts.

"I missed the cuts and got reshuffled down the bottom and had no more starts so that was frustrating.

"Then I injured my shoulder and had to take time off, and by midyear I had nowhere to play.

"I played some eGolf events, but you have to shoot around eight under to do any good. I would walk out of there having played well, shoot 68, and have nothing to show for it.

"My game is pretty good but when you do get a start, your game is so fresh with not competing for a while that you lose that little edge."

Geary has just missed out at the second stages of qualifying for the US and Asian tours so he is desperately looking for some sponsors while he is home to help him get through what is shaping up as another tough year in 2013.

Despite the tough times he has endured, he has never doubted he is good enough to make it.

"Both Brad and I have got the game to succeed," he said.

"We have played against the guys who are out there and we have beaten many of them.

"It is just a matter of sticking with it and hanging in there long enough until it clicks for you.

"It is very fickle and some guys have got through to the top 25 and you wonder how they did it, as you swear they are not that good. It is all about timing and having a purple patch at the right time.

"We know we are easily good enough to do very well but it just hasn't been our time yet, I guess. But it is just so frustrating to not be out there doing well and not getting the starts."Peter White

- Bay of Plenty Times

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