“I was afraid of losing weight to children my age.

Winner at Abu Dhabi on January 18, 2015 in front of some of the best golfers in the world, Gary Stall had subsequently slipped slowly but surely into the abyss of professional golf and lost at the end of the 2017 season his right to play on Europe Tour while a series of setbacks are as demoralizing as each other. But since February 2020 and the arrival on his side of Frank Lorenzo Vera, his coach, the horizon has become noticeably clearer. 2022 must thus coincide with its return to the front, which began in South Africa a few weeks ago …

In what state of mind are you after these first four tournaments of the season in South Africa?
I feel much better in my head. This gave me the opportunity to gain confidence in my background in the competition. The seeds that I have been sowing for some time now are that today are positive. I’m starting to reap some of the benefits!

This is the first time since June-July 2015 that you have crossed a cut four times in a row. What has fundamentally changed this year for you?
Two years ago, let’s say, I really started to understand my golf swing. So when I make a bad move, I know in 90% of the cases what was wrong. This therefore prevents me from going back in the wrong direction, especially by trying to understand why I missed my shot left or right. For me, understanding all of this was a great relief. Basically, my game is much better than that in 2015, for example. That’s why I have to be patient. During those first four tournaments in South Africa, I really changed my attitude. Before this season started, it was just very bad. I was made to understand that it would be impossible for me to achieve good results if I did not change at this point. So I put a little more emphasis on that during the four weeks. And I am proud of it.

Have you done any mental work to rectify all this?
Between the end of 2019 and until 2021, I collaborated again with Patrick Groperrin. And I also had a shrink, which did me a lot of good, which got rid of the nodules I had in my brain. Today, there are still a few people who stay with me for the basic mental work.

I want to finish in the top ten of the Challenge Tour so I can find a full category on the DP World Tour next year.

Can we quote them?
These are people who prefer to be anonymous. Pardon !

What was your preparation in the low season?
I left for the whole month of January in Dubai, where I also want to settle down at the end of the year, to be in perfect training conditions. I went out very little and I held the equivalent of six sports sessions a week (Editor’s note, he has been working with Franck Lorenzo-Vera since February 2020, while Jérôme Simian remains his physical trainer).

What are your goals for 2022?
I want to finish in the top ten of the Challenge Tour so I can find a full category on the DP World Tour next year.

Is replay of a major, as in 2016 at the US Open, a secondary goal at the moment?
That’s not my primary motivation this year, though it would obviously be a great thing to play one. So it stays in the back of my mind.

In 2015, I was a child. I was not afraid of anything because I had nothing to prove to anyone. I was completely unconscious.

What will be your program in the coming weeks?
I have to play all three tournaments in South Africa and Tanzania (Editor’s note, between March 24 and April 10). Then there is the return to Europe on the Challenge Tour (Editor’s note, from 19 May) with a few weeks break from time to time …

How does Gary Stal in January 2015, who had beaten Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy in one of the biggest tournaments on the European Tour, differ from Gary Stal in March 2022?
In 2015, I was a child. I had great motivation. I was not afraid of anything because I had nothing to prove to anyone. I was completely unconscious. I made things. Point. Today, the big difference is that I have become a man who sees clearly. I went through moments of doubt and failure, but I was able to get up, despite the difficulties. Everything I was able to do in terms of mistakes turns into something positive today. I learned a lot from these experiences. In short, I am convinced that all of this will serve me well for years to come once I have found my full potential.

During this period on the European Tour, what are the things you have done that you do not want to do again today?
I think it took me a long time to digest this victory (in Abu Dhabi). I definitely won too fast and thought it would happen quite often. And it was here that the downturn began. That’s the other side of the coin. We have a lot of expectations for ourselves, and also for others. The pressure is getting very heavy. The bad golf days follow one another, the doubt sets in, the putts no longer fit, you realize that you are far behind in the standings … These are a number of things that make you lose confidence. We are entering a vicious circle. Months, years go by … Abu Dhabi gets further and further behind you … And then comes 2020. The right choices are starting to emerge, we are starting to gather some positive points, and inevitably morale is rising!

My worst season was in 2019. I really wanted to hang up there. I said to myself, “it’s over, you can not do it anymore. There are too many things that are wrong.”

This victory in Abu Dhabi, how long did it take you to digest it completely?
I would say between 4 and 5 years!

During these difficult years, you were at any point crossed by the thought of giving up the high level, putting on and doing something else during these difficult years. ?
My worst season was in 2019. I really wanted to hang up there. I said to myself, “it’s over, you can not do it anymore. There are too many things wrong.“In fact, I was afraid of losing to kids from my club … I was really lost in my game and in my head. PQ2 and I’m in PQ3, in pain and under tremendous pressure (Editor’s note, he plays all six rounds and finishes as number 75). I thought maybe it was a glimpse of life …

You turned 30 on February 9, until what age do you see yourself playing professionally?
I do not have a time goal … I let myself play until I can not see golf in paint anymore. But honestly, I never think it will happen to me. I want to achieve great things. Until this is achieved, I plan to continue. In this connection, I would like to thank my sponsors, without whom nothing would be possible: Sogelym Dixence family Condamin, Art Travel family Gastaldo, Club Houses Estates and Stal TP.

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