Peter Kuest learning to take it one day at a time on PGA Tour

Former BYU golfer Peter Kuest went from having his final collegiate season canceled in March to competing against the best golfers in the world in June, all while learning on the fly about how life works on the week-to-week grind of the PGA Tour.

“They were short weeks for sure,” Kuest said of his first two PGA tournaments. “But it was still really good to be out there and start learning the ropes and how things work and get in that routine of playing tournament golf week in and week out on the PGA Tour.”

Kuest, a native of Fresno, California, opened his PGA career with back-to-back events last month at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut and earlier in July at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. He said the biggest differences between college golf and the PGA Tour are the money athletes play for and the competition.

“There are a lot of really good guys in college, but when you go to a tournament, a lot of times there are maybe 10 to 20 guys that could actually win the event,” Kuest said. “But out there (on the tour), anyone could win. You just gotta play really well and make a lot of putts. That’s what it comes down to, is who can make more putts.”

He said it was a little bit strange to be making his PGA debut without fans in the audience due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the important thing was just to be out there competing and trying to win.

Luckily, Kuest has several mentors on the tour already who have years of experience and success to draw from as he makes the transition to professional golf, including Utah native Tony Finau and fellow BYU alumnus Zac Blair.

Both golfers were also in the field of competitors at the Travelers and Rocket Mortgage, and Kuest had the chance to spend some time with them and pick up some pointers.

“Tony was telling me you just got to take it one day at a time and prepare yourself the best you can for each event, and just try to go out and play well,” Kuest said. “And when things aren’t going great, you still have to stay really positive with it all and try to learn. No matter how good you get at the game you just have to keep trying to learn and get better.”

Finau, a Salt Lake City native, has been ranked as high as No. 9 in the world, and finished in the top five at both the Masters and the Open Championship in 2019. Blair was a member of the BYU men’s golf team from 2009 to 2013 and has been on the tour since 2014.

Another mentor who is teaching Kuest how to stay disciplined and improve on the tour is fellow Central California native Bryson DeChambeau, who ended up winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

“Bryson is a really cool guy, and he’s really committed to what he’s doing,” Kuest said. “It’s really cool to see him have success and really work hard at it. You have to give him credit. He put in a lot of time to get his body and his golf swing to where it is right now.”

DeChambeau made headlines when he added 40 pounds of mass to his frame this year and started regularly making 400-yard tee shots, leading to his impressive three-stroke margin of victory at the Rocket Mortgage.

Kuest failed to make the weekend cut at either of his first two tournaments, but he hopes to learn to be more consistent and comfortable on the tour as he follows the advice and examples of his mentors. He has back-to-back PGA events coming up once again with the Memorial Tournament in Ohio July 16-19 and the 3M Open in Minnesota July 23-26.

“I have to just go out and play the game I know I can play,” Kuest said. “Not be too hesitant or afraid of hitting a shot or anything like that, but just going out and having a lot of belief and faith in what you’re doing.”

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