One year after struggling through an injury-plagued summer, South Surrey golfer Adam Svensson is back in the swing of things.
Svensson, who is wrapping up his final year of high school at Earl Marriott Secondary, is bouncing back to his old form despite a nagging wrist condition that wreaks havoc on his game when it flares up.
"I was fighting my wrist all summer," he said. "One week it would be good and I would think I could play but when I got to the tournament, it would start hurting again. I had to withdraw from the Canadian Amateur and that was the one tournament I really wanted to do well in. It was a really frustrating year but that tournament was the worst because I had to fly all that way for nothing."
Last summer's struggles were magnified coming as they did just one year after Svensson enjoyed a magical, breakout season. Svensson was in a groove in 2010 where he won six consecutive tournaments including the boys 14-17 age class at the Callaway Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, the B.C. Junior Championship and the B.C. Men's Amateur Championship.
Svensson said while the wrist issue was frustrating, the success of the previous summer did not create any undue stress.
"I don't think I put any extra pressure on myself," said Svensson, now in his third year as a member of Canada's national development team.
"Of course I wanted to have the same kind of year as I had before, but my wrist kept bugging me. I wanted to have another year like that but when I couldn't, I didn't let it bother me because that year (2010) was one of the best I've ever had. It's hard to compete with a year like that. I didn't really realize what I had done at first but a couple of months later I looked back at it and all I could think was, 'Wow; that was pretty good.'"
With his wrist feeling better, Svensson has been looking forward to another season of big tournaments. Unfortunately, the first stop on his summer bucket list never took place. The Grade 12 student missed out on playing for a B.C. high school title when the event was cancelled due to the ongoing dispute between the B.C. government and the teachers' union.
"I wanted to play in that tournament and when it was cancelled, it wasn't as big a deal for me as much as for my teammates at school," he said.
"I think our team would have had a good chance this year and when they cancelled it, a few of the guys were really upset. This was my last chance too, but I guess these things happen."
While his buddies missed out on a shot at the high school title, Svensson turned his attention to bigger challenges.
Last month he cruised to an 11stroke win in the Puerto Rico qualifier for next week's Toyota World Junior Golf Championships. Svensson will compete there as part of the Canadian team after a brief stopover in South Surrey from last week's Mexican Men's Amateur Tournament.
Other stops on his summer agenda include the Canadian Open qualifier in July in Toronto; the B.C. Men's Amateur Championship in Pitt Meadows July 24-27; the Canadian Junior Boys Championship in Nova Scotia July 31-Aug. 3; and the Canadian Men's Amateur Championship in Ontario Aug. 7-10.
"I'm feeling much better this year," Svensson said. "I'm much more comfortable with my game although I don't know how well my wrist is going to hold up. Hopefully it will hold up so I can play the whole season and then I can get surgery on it in December. It's a problem with the tissue, which means it's easy to get removed."
When the summer tournament schedule wraps up, Svensson will be heading south to Nevada where he will attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas on a golf scholarship.
Despite his recent struggles with injury, Svensson said he is still excited about heading out to the golf course, whether to play or practise.
While the skills of his rivals are infinitely better than when he first started playing the game, the challenges presented by the sport have captured his heart.
"I totally love it," he said emphatically. "It's not something I do just to have fun; I take it very seriously. I love the game more because I know I'm just a few years away from playing the game for a living.
"So that's exciting - plus now that I'm older I get to travel more and that's pretty cool."