KAPALUA, Hawaii – Earning a trip to the Sentry Tournament of Champions is a unique reward for every player. It means you’ve won and you can start your year against a limited field at a no-cut event. Oh, and you’re in Maui.
For Chris Stroud, however, his first trip to the event has been a sea change.
“I feel like it’s a step into a whole new life,” he said. “I was right on the edge of putting the clubs away forever last year before I even started the season. I wanted to spend more time with my family, like every professional athlete.”
That all changed in August at the Barracuda Championship when he won his first event after 10 years on the PGA Tour.
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The transformation went even deeper after Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston in September and Stroud, a Houston resident, dedicated himself to rebuilding his community.
In December, Stroud organized a pro-am to benefit those impacted by Harvey along with 25 other professionals and raised over $1 million.
It was all part of a transformative year for Stroud, who said the key to his professional turnaround was letting go of his natural desire to control everything and trusting his game.
“To go from that a year ago, to winning on the PGA Tour, to raising $1 million for the people whose families and houses were destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. To be in Maui for the first time ever with my family,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. To me it’s been a big eye-opener.”