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Golfer Jonas didn't have whale of a time in Europe


CLOVERDALE — If there is such a thing as a sophomore slump at age 52, then professional golfer Phil Jonas figures he just experienced it.

After a promising rookie season on the 50-and-over European Senior Tour in 2013, Jonas struggled this year.

Trying to juggle a hectic family life - Jonas and wife Patty have two teenage children - as well as a busy schedule teaching golf with playing competitively overseas, finally caught up with him this year.

"Apart from the family, I had two focuses," said the Cloverdale resident.

"One was playing and one was teaching and I pretty much did a half-ass job at both. You almost have to do one or the other. A lot of the juniors that I teach, their parents want them to come every week and I couldn't offer that service. It was difficult and also I needed to play more. There is nobody on that tour that is also working, really."

Jonas' best finish this year was a tie for 21st at the English Senior Open this past summer and he made roughly $16,000 in 10 events. Last year, Jonas had three top-10s, two other top-15 finishes and made nearly $65,000 in 13 events.

He has lost his exempt status for 2015, but earlier this year had pretty much resigned himself to the fact he needed to step away from the tour.

"I can't do it with the kids the age they are," he says.

"I am going to wait a couple of years. I didn't play great this year for numerous reasons, and if in a couple of years I feel like my body is still working and I get this year out of my system, I will try to go to the Champions Tour Q-school or whatever."

Jonas, who teaches out of his own academy at Hazelmere Golf Club in Surrey as well as McCleery in Vancouver, acknowledged his indifferent play left him frustrated this year.

"There is nothing to put a finger on except I wasn't allowing myself to play well, which is the most frustrating way to play golf. The other thing was I didn't score well. I wasn't a good golfer. I sort of became a bad golfer, which is something I despise actually.

"I have always enjoyed the fact I have been able to score better than I have played. This year, I didn't. I actually scored the same or worse than I played. It was extremely frustrating for me to play that way."

Jonas is an alternate for the season-ending Tour Championship on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in mid-December, but won't go unless he draws into the field.