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Paul Casey explains what Chez Reavie was missing in college — and how it helped him

June 24, 2019

Chez Reavie doesn’t look like your prototypical, modern tour player. At 5’9″ and 160 pounds, he ranks 157th in driving distance and 189th in clubhead speed. Yet he walked away a winner on Sunday at the Travelers Championship.

How does he do it?

Reavie hits the ball incredibly straight — he’s currently leading the tour in Driving Accuracy — which helps him hit lots of greens. But according to his college teammate at Arizona State, Paul Casey, the true reason for his success goes far deeper than that.

“He wasn’t really heavily recruited. Was just kind of the local kid that ended up on the team at ASU. You know, we were very fortunate he chose to play his college golf there. He had the ability to go anywhere. He looked like he didn’t have the athleticism that a lot of — certainly you see it now from players on tour. He didn’t really have that extra something, but what he doesn’t have in stature he makes up for in tenacity and grit.

Casey continued:

“He would have won more out here if he hadn’t gone through injuries. Yeah, I’ve been through injuries as well so I know how difficult it is. I’m incredibly proud of what he’s achieved on tour. He’s got so much more to achieve as well, so hopefully this is just the start.”

It’s an overplayed notion in sports — the qualities of grit and determination — but nevertheless, it’s always inspiring when you see a player like Chez use them to overcome the odds placed in front of him. Because, the truth is, for golfers at home, who aren’t in peak athletic specimens, they can learn more from watching Chez Reavie play golf than the likes of Dustin Johnson or Tony Finau.

And the takeaway? That for as important as the physical skills are to playing good golf, golf will always be won or lost, as Bobby Jones said, in the five-and-a-half inch course between your ears.