By Tim Jackman (@AJGAJackman), AJGA Communications
Austen Truslow of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., started the Puerto Rico Junior Open just like every other player in the field, but after three rounds and 58 holes, he earned a one-stroke victory and an exemption into the PGA TOUR’S Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com.
Truslow won the Puerto Rico Junior Open in a sudden-death playoff
“It is overwhelming to see my name on the player list with a lot of the guys I have been watching for the last ten years,” Truslow said. “I just can’t wait to play in general. It is going to be incredible. I am just grateful to be playing in it.”
Some players would put in extra practice and work harder to prepare for such a big stage, but not Truslow.
“I am just handling it like any other tournament,” the University of Virginia commit said. “I am not going to practice more than normal or work with my coach more than usual.”
Truslow will look to make an impact in his first PGA TOUR start
Truslow has played the Championship Course at the Trump International Golf Club more than a dozen times in his young career, which he feels gives him an advantage. The AJGA Puerto Rico Junior Open is held on the same course as the PGA TOUR event and played at similar yardages.
“Fortunately enough it is on a course I am familiar with and comfortable on.” Truslow said. “It will be much easier for me to be relaxed on the course because I have played it before.”
While Truslow may be relaxed and treating the tournament like any other, his friends are dealing with it in a different way.
“I have a lot of good people I have surrounded myself with,” Truslow said. “But my friends are pretty excited, they are hyping it up. It is a big event, but my coach has a good understanding that this tournament is not a big deal overall, and he is keeping me grounded.”
Truslow joins 82 players in the field for this year’s Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com who are AJGA alumni. This is the fourth-straight year the winner of the Puerto Rico Junior Open has received a sponsor exemption into the TOUR event. Past recipients include Jason Roets of Howey-in-the-Hills, Calif. in 2011, Edward Figueroa of Naples, Fla., in 2012, and Jorge Garcia of Miami, Fla., who received the 2013 sponsor exemption and became the eighth-youngest player to make the cut in a PGA TOUR event with a four-day total 1-under-par 287.
Follow Truslow throughout the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com.