Andrew Johnston is intent on playing a more balanced schedule this year after admitting his 2016 commitments were a “juggling act”.
The popular “Beef” combined his European Tour appearances with regular trips across the Atlantic over the second half of last season, earning his PGA Tour card with a strong performance in the Web.com Tour Finals.
Johnston tees up for the first time in a regular-season event as a full member in this week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, which is also his first event in the same field as Tiger Woods.
The 27-year-old has overcome a bout of “man flu” which delayed his arrival in California, and he is looking forward to playing alongside the likes of Woods, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson in the first event of the West Coast Swing.
But he is hoping to cut down on his travelling in 2017, which he feels will help him become more settled and improve his game.
“Last year I got put in a position where I was going back and forth,” said Johnston, who won his maiden professional title at the Open de Espana last April before posting a top-10 finish in The Open at Royal Troon.
“At one point I went from Pittsburgh to Germany back to Bridgestone to Scotland and that was hard work. So if I want to play, I want to be out here for like a month or a month [in Europe] and make sure I’m playing a few tournaments at a time.”
Woods is making his first appearance on the PGA Tour since August 2015, and Johnston added: “Every time I’ve played out here, unfortunately Tiger hasn’t.
“Hopefully I can meet him and say hello and stuff, get to know him a bit because I’m a big fan and obviously watched him for years growing up as a kid.”
Johnston is also confident that his performance will not be hampered by a bout of illness last week ahead of his first outing of the year, in which he will play the first two rounds with Whee Kim and Brian Campbell.
“Just had the man flu as they call it, a bit of man flu,” he said. “I was feeling pretty rough last week. I actually changed my flight from Sunday to Monday thinking I’ll feel better if I just chill out on the weekend.”