Adam Blyth and his dad Stephen dreamed about this moment during their nine-holes-a-day ritual in Brisbane. Stephen doesn’t play any holes himself. His job is to caddie, having sold his business to finance his son’s dream of professional golf.
Today, that incredible belief was repaid with one glorious flushed shot on the 18th at Stonecutters that quietened any doubters and settled Blyth’s rattling nerves as he closed in on the biggest win of his career.
For 12 long years it’s been tough. Blyth is now 35, but it was in 2016 that he started winning. Twice. First the South Pacific Open in September, and now the NSW Open. He meditates for 45 minutes a day, to build the resilience and presence to cope with challenges. He needed all of it after a disastrous front nine, which included four bogies and a double-bogey. A lot of golfers would outwardly express their distress, Blyth went within.
“I try to control my breathing and my mind so that I am in that one spot. I can do that quite well. I can get away from thinking ahead,” he said.
“I didn’t do it so well on the front nine, but I understood it and I brought myself back and for the back nine I was in the moment.
“Those terrible thoughts can come into your head. What am I going to do at home tonight? I’ve got a dinner on tonight, people think I’m going to win. I got ahead of myself (on the front nine), I was partying already and I’m like ‘relax dude, you haven’t won anything. Slow it down. Come back to now’. I was able to do it, and all that training paid off.”
The shot on 18 was special. Protecting a two-shot lead, Blyth took two-iron off the tee to lay-up. A five iron into a stiff cross breeze was flushed, finishing 10 feet behind the pin for an eagle putt and ending the contest right there.
Stephen said his son’s win was “right up there” in terms of life highlights. “He’s a lovely person. Just a gentleman,” he said. “And while the golf is great I’m just so proud of how I brought him up, the reaction he gets from people. He’s well-liked.”
At 35, to win twice in the same year has given Blyth the confidence to keep going, keep believing and to deliver more on the unlimited potential he still has. “It (golf) is so different to any other sport. At 35, you’re probably retiring. But in golf you can have really long careers. You have ebbs and flows. I’ve been down, but now hopefully I’m rising up now.”
Indeed he is. Tonight you suspect that dinner party will be one for the ages.