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Harry Hall savoring 1st season on PGA Tour

Harry Hall’s job as a professional golfer means he needs to stay focused on the task at hand as he plays on the PGA Tour.

But there are brief moments in the middle of rounds when he allows himself to take it all in. Like standing on the 18th tee at Pebble Beach. Or walking along the cliffs at Torrey Pines.

“There are moments when I think how amazing,” said Hall, who has made Las Vegas his home. “I just have to stop and take a breath.”

But the youngster who grew up in Cornwall, England, and dreamed of doing this for a living would tell modern-day Harry there’s a time and place for letting your mind wander.

“I think young Harry would tell me to stay patient because there’s a lot golf to play,” Hall said.

It’s been a solid start to Hall’s rookie season, topped by a tie for 15th at the Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas in October. In January he had a share of the lead during the second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii, and another share of the lead at a couple different points during the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

“I’ve played some great golf to start the year,” he said, and remains optimistic better things are around the corner. “Traditionally I’ve played my best golf in May and June.”

He stands 106th in the FedEx Cup standings a third of the way into the season. Maintaining his position is going to be a challenge as the tour’s designated events keep players with lower priority status out of events like last week’s Phoenix Open and this week’s Genesis Invitational.

That Hall has even been playing in recent events is a minor miracle.

Three days after the fall season ended for Hall, he suffered a freak fall while running and suffered a deep bruise in his wrist. Luckily, nothing broke, but the incident left him in a cast for five weeks and forced him to spend the holidays without playing.

He continued to work on strengthening other parts of his body and had daily physical therapy. But Hall was worried in those initial weeks.

“At first it wasn’t getting any better,” he said. “But I told myself don’t get flustered. Do other things to get your body stronger.”

Eventually, the wrist began to heal. In early January, he was able to putt and chip. He finally could swing full clubs a few days before the Sony Open in Hawaii. He decided to play with no expectations and found himself in contention right out of the gate.

In retrospect, Hall said the accident led to a forced mental break from the game, and that has probably helped him in early 2023.

A change in attitude has also helped, he said, when he decided at Pebble Beach to stop being so analytical about every shot he hits.

“I was putting so much effort into every shot, and if it didn’t turn out great, putting that same effort into figuring out what went wrong,” he said. Hall instead adopted an approach modeled after Rory McIlroy where he’s trying to be more natural and carefree.

That attitude is the same he’s taking in handling the pressures of a rookie season on the PGA Tour. When the stress begins to build, he tries to remind him of where his journey has taken him.

“There’s no place I’d rather be,” he said.

Hall of Fame nominations

Nominations are now open for the 2023 Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame.

Anyone can nominate a candidate by visiting lasvegasgolfhof.com/nominations. A handful of contributors to the game will be chosen for the class, with the induction taking place the week of the Shriners Children’s Open in October. Nominees must have lived in Southern Nevada for at least five years, have a strong competitive résumé or contributed to the betterment of the game in another significant manner.

Nominations are due by March 15.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. Reach him at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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