Straight Down ambassador Sam Stevens raised his game in 2023, putting together an impressive rookie season that saw him contend for titles and qualify for the PGA Tour’s Playoffs. Sam’s season was highlighted by a third-place finish and runner-up in consecutive weeks and a 65th-place finish in the FedExCup.
We caught up with Sam to reflect on his first year at golf’s highest level and the lessons he learned along the way.
Q. What was the biggest thing you learned from your rookie year?
Sam Stevens: I think the biggest thing was learning to stay patient. I got off to a slow start and was down in the FedExCup for the first third of the season. Just remembering that it’s a long year and having confidence that my good golf is good enough is something I knew but it was good to reinforce that.
Q. What were the highlights of the year?
Sam Stevens: San Antonio was the best I played all year. I was pretty calm, pretty at peace. I knew I had to do something pretty cool on the last couple of holes. That freed me up to make a good swing, hit a good shot. It worked out perfectly (Sam hit a drive 8 feet from the hole on the par-4 17th and made eagle). Playing the U.S. Open for the second straight year, and playing with Tommy Fleetwood in the final round when he shot 63, was a lot of fun.
At the 3M Open – the second-to-last event before the Playoffs – I made a 40-footer for eagle on the final hole to finish 10th. That last putt was pretty important.
Q. Did anything surprise you about life on the PGA Tour?
Sam Stevens: It’s pretty much everything you dream of. We live a very blessed life for sure.