For Sam Cyr, the wait ends now.
Cyr, a 2006 King Kekaulike High School graduate from Makawao, won the Mid-Pac Open in 2010, the Maui Open and Hawaii State Open in 2011, and was a two-time NAIA champion for Point Loma Nazarene University.
This week, for the first time, he will tee it up as a member of the Asian Tour, in the Philippine Open.
Sam Cyr, who earned his Asian Tour card last month, hits a shot at The Dunes at Maui Lani driving range during a recent trip back home
The Maui News / ROBERT?COLLIAS photo
After three unsuccessful tries at PGA Tour Qualifying School, Cyr became a member of the world's third-ranked tour with a tie for 16th place in Asian Tour final qualifying last month. He came home to Maui to recuperate and missed last week's Zaykabar Myanmar Open because of a delay with his visa.
Beginning today (Thursday in the Philippines) at the Wack Wack Golf & Country Club in Manila, he will tee it up with Official World Golf Ranking points and a $300,000 purse on the line.
After two weeks in Thailand last month - Cyr finished second in his flight of the opening stage of qualifying - he said the opportunity that awaits has started to hit him.
"I think the process of it made it sink in, the process of doing your visas and the passport, looking at all your travel arrangements, seeing your events, where you are going to go to, talking to the people from the tour, emails and all that stuff - I think that is what kind of made it sink in," he said before a recent practice session at The Dunes at Maui Lani. "I don't think it will officially sink in until you officially get there to that first event."
He grabbed one of 40 tour cards available, but after two rounds of the final stage he was in an 11-way tie for 28th, just one shot clear of the card cut line.
"I was, like, 'Oh wow, I have still got to play some good golf,' " Cyr said. "I wasn't playing as well as I did the first week, but I was playing solid. I shot 70-70 and I was super surprised that I was still in, like, 40th. I felt comfortable in the sense that I know the golf course that we are playing in the last two rounds. I didn't play too well the third day, but I still managed a 72 and I moved up. So I thought, 'OK, now the golf course is showing its teeth.' The fourth day it got real windy on the back nine and it was very similar to Hawaii golf - there were times you were playing a three-club wind."
A final-round 70 sealed his card and his dream of playing a major tour - even if it is on the other side of the international dateline.
"That is going to be awesome. It is so awesome to have the opportunity to finally do that and to actually know that your hard work, if you play well, that you will be rewarded for it," he said. "I haven't had that opportunity yet, so it is just something to look forward to, definitely. It is definitely going to be fun, definitely a challenge worth trying to go for."
Cyr said his confidence is growing.
"I have been working on that a lot," he said. "That is definitely something that I struggle with in the game. I am definitely trying to get better at it, be more confident, and just use the ability that God has given me, all the hard work that I have put in, just things like that. It is definitely coming, I see it more on the golf course than off the golf course."
The Asian Tour has been on his mind for a couple of years as he struggled to advance in PGA Q-School - he made it to the second stage there before bowing out in 2009 and 2010, and failed to advance from the first stage in 2011. Among those who encouraged him to try Asia was David Ishii, the 1990 Hawaiian Open winner whose foundation sponsors the state high school tournaments.
A win in the state open in December after a fifth-place finish in the Gateway Tour championship in November boosted his confidence to a level that convinced him it was a good idea.
"It was kind of on the plate, but not really. And then PGA Q-School didn't go as we wanted, so I kind of thought, 'You know, I can get healthy' because I had a couple of setbacks last year," he said. "I had a friend whose brother plays on the PGA Tour and he said, 'What about going to Asia?' We talked to our little circle, our coaches, and they thought it was a great idea and a great way to move up, be a part of a world tour, one of the biggest tours in the world.
"It was just a great opportunity so we said, 'OK, let's do it.' "
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org