PACIFIC PALISADES, California – Martin Trainer did not win the Genesis Invitational Sunday.
Adam Scott did it.
But Trainer was a winner on the Riviera this week.
You have probably never heard of Trainer. Why would you
He doesn't run in the same private jet circles as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and he's not an instagram from exotic vacations with cool kids like Rickie, Jordan, and JT.
However, if you are a golfer who is struggling so hard with your game that you wondered if you would ever hit the ball again directly, refer to coaches. They relate deeply.
Sure, he's a professional golfer with his PGA tour card and game status that will last until next season. He even has a win on his resume – at the Puerto Rico Open in just his ninth start as a PGA tour member, a title he will be defending this week.
A look at Coach's results since that breakthrough in Puerto Rico will make you wonder how he might have won a PGA tour event – let alone an amateur tournament in his local Muni.
The fall of Trainer's game into a pitch-black abyss since his victory in Puerto Rico was amazing. After his win, Trainer had 16 starts at the end of the season and missed 12 cuts, retired once and finished 41st in the Players Championship. His last 11 starts last season included 10 missed cuts and a retreat.
When participating in last week's Genesis Invitational, coach missed the cut on all 10 starts this season. So he went 21 out of 22 starts either missing the cut or retiring.
After a 3-over-par 74 win, he finished 47th on Sunday after finishing with a 3-over par 74. However, this does not mean that the coach was not victorious. Simply making the cut was like lifting a trophy for him. He did the cut on Friday's number – at 1-over-par – by sinking a 5-foot bogey putt to 18 to earn the right to play the weekend for the first time since last April.
"I joked with my friends that we should have a party because I hadn't cut for so long," said coach. "It's been a long 10 months of fighting."
Low points? He has had more than a few.
"The low point was in Reno," said coach about the 2019 Barracuda championship. "Thank goodness Stableford scored [a points system instead of strokes]because I would have shot 110. There were four or five holes in which I hit the forest like two balls and I said, "OK, I'll take my double bogey maximum."
At the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, where the tournament winners of the previous year met in January for a sauce train week with a short field and no cut, the trainer was 18 over par, eight strokes worse than second – last place and 32 shots behind winner Justin Thomas ,
At the American Express in Palm Springs, he shot 14-over-par and missed the cut by 23 shots.
In Phoenix, he finished the 10-over par a few weeks ago and missed the cut by 11 shots.
In Houston, he finished the 14-over par and missed the cut by 14 shots.
You look at these amazing numbers and it's like one of the amateurs from Pro-Am sneaked into the field.
"I hit 7-irons 40 meters to the right of the target," said coach. "You can't keep up if you hit it like that. There would be tournaments where it quickly became clear that I had almost no chance of making the cut. I'm just happy that I can hit the ball again. "
In December, Trainer began working with swing trainer Jeff Smith, who also works with Patrick Rodgers and Scott Piercy, and Smith found a way to keep trainers from hitting each iron 20 yards to the right.
"I thought I had peaked because I was extremely inconsistent and sometimes very good," said coach.
The coach came to the sobering reality that the Puerto Rico win and two wins on the Korn Ferry Tour the year before were just illusions.
"My mechanics swayed on the edge of the barely playable," he said.
Trainer described his epic slide as "miserable".
"You win a tournament and after a while you say," I think I can play golf, "but it's like you almost stop believing that you can … even though you did," he said , "Something like that is known to be there somewhere. You just have to find it."
Hopefully he found it on the Riviera for the sake of Trainer's health. The success on the PGA tour is fleeting. Sure, it was a tough year for him, but now – at this very minute – Trainer is again a success. And just in time when he returns to the place of his greatest triumph.