But he has over the past eleven years played on the PGA Tour four times (2003, 05, 07, 12) and the Web.Com seven times (2002, 04, 06, 08 - 2011).
As his record shows he alternates between the tours practically every other year from 2002 and has never held his USPGA Tour card for more than year at a stretch.
So why is this so?
Gavin was born in Bathurst New South Wales in 1992 and turned pro in 1992. Not known for his athletic build being 5’ 5” tall and 160lbs and one of the shortest hitters on tour (ranked 185th) with an average driving distance of 272.7 yards. Now this statistic is what most people point to as why Gavin finds it difficult to compete on the PGA Tour.
I have put their 2012 numbers and ranking side by side below to compare and assess where the critical factors are that make the difference.
Four areas stand out in the above comparison table between Gavin and Luke.
They are, strokes gained-putting in particular distance 10’-15’ and 15’-20’, sand saves, scrambling and bounce back (making a birdie or better after the player has made a bogey).
Check out the distance Gavin hits his approaches from 50 yards-100 yards (15’ to 20’) which is his worst putting distance where he ranks a lowly 187th.
It really does show that at this very high level finding the slightest edge makes a huge difference on whether you are successful like Luke Donald or as Gavin Coles has experienced, spending more time playing the Web.Com Tour where money on offer is on average 90% less than the PGA Tour and the competition is just as tough.
The Aussie battler with three tournaments left in the schedule needs to earn another US$500,000.00 to retain his card for 2013 otherwise its back to tour school, and if not successful another year on the Web.Com waits for him.
We wish him the very best of luck and great golf.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
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