Q&A with David Pastore following his PGA TOUR Canada win

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (September 15, 2016) - Five-time MGA champion and 2014 MGA Player of the Year David Pastore of Greenwich, Conn., broke through with his first professional win recently, claiming the PGA TOUR Canada - Mackenzie Tour's Niagara Championship. While his summer schedule wasn't as full as he had hoped as he battled a wrist injury, Pastore has registered quality finishes since returning to action, making the cut in his other two Mackenzie Tour events and finishing tied for sixth in the 101st Met Open at Glen Oaks. Following his victory in Canada and prior to his start in the Mackenzie Tour's season finale this week, we had an opportunity for a quick Q&A with Pastore:

MGA: How tough was it not competing on a weekly basis as you dealt with a wrist injury?
David Pastore: It was incredibly frustrating. I couldn't even look at the scores each week because I wanted to be out there so bad. Health is a fickle thing and when you're out, you have doubts about whether you'll be able to come back and if you do, will you be the same. I just tried to stay positive and take my time letting my wrist heal.

MGA: What aspects of your game have been your strongest since returning to competition?
DP: My short game has always been my strength and no doubt it was a huge part of my victory last week, but improved ball striking may have been the difference. Keeping the ball in play off the tee and giving myself more birdie putts freed up my putting.

MGA: What was it like being back in the Met Open field this year at Glen Oaks?
DP: It was incredible. It killed me to not be able to play last year for the 100th Met Open at Winged Foot so I hadn't played an MGA event in two years. The conditions and difficulty of the Met Area courses is unmatched compared to almost anywhere else I've played. Glen Oaks is now one of my top-three favorite courses.

MGA: What were your main thoughts as you entered Sunday’s final round in the Niagara Championship?
DP: It was my first time in contention at a tournament of this competition level, so I wasn't exactly sure how I'd be able to handle it. I knew I had the game to shoot a low number and win but I just wasn't sure if it would happen on my first try. My game just felt really good Sunday and after a long birdie putt went in on nine, I said to myself, "Hey, maybe it's my day and I can pull this off." I never allowed myself to settle for anything less than winning.

MGA: The top player on the Mackenzie Tour this season made a good run on Sunday as well, but you were able to hold him off down the stretch. What type of confidence does that type of finish give you as you move forward?
DP: That was the most rewarding part of the win. Very rarely in golf do you know what you need to do and pull it off. I played an almost flawless round and knew exactly where I stood the whole day. Dan has obviously been playing at a high level and no one has really been able to beat him this year, so for us to separate ourselves from the field, and then for me to birdie 18 for the win, I couldn't have scripted it any better. This win gives me a ton of confidence in terms of the level of golf I can play and my ability to win golf tournaments. I'll draw on this win for a long time to come.

MGA: You’ve undoubtedly received a lot of congratulations from your win. What are some of the most memorable or meaningful messages you’ve received?
DP: Having Gary Player tweet congratulations and having over 150 text messages was pretty cool, but the most meaningful were the phone calls back home to my family, close friends, and investors. Having people to share it with makes it that much more special.

MGA: What’s coming up next for you following the Mackenzie Tour season finale?
DP: I will be exempt thru at least the first stage of q school which is nice because my schedule will open up until November. I plan to play a few of the PGA tour fall series Monday qualifiers and then possibly some PGA tour Latino America events to fill in the schedule.

Follow Pastore, along with Met Area competitors Mike Miller (Brewster, N.Y.) and Sean Kelly (Staten Island, N.Y.) this week in the Mackenzie Tour's Freedom 55 Financial Championship.