THE bus to the Asian Development Tour event in Indonesia was three minutes from leaving and John Catlin was staring at his phone as he decided whether to hit "purchase" on the plane ticket home to California.
Catlin had just finished one stroke better than last place. It was only the third cut he had made in 11 events as he tried to split time between the Asian Tour and the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. This was 2016, and Catlin didn't keep his card on either tour.
He was ready to pack it in. The little voice in his head telling him not to quit won the battle.
He boarded the bus. He won the tournament.
Very little has gone according to plan for Catlin since the 30-year-old graduated from New Mexico in 2013 and embarked on a pro career with no expectations except that "you never know where it's going to take you."
He didn't imagine going from Canada to Malaysia, from Jakarta to Bangladesh and from Singapore to Pakistan.
The next big stop is Kiawah Island, South Carolina for his first major championship.
Catlin, who has won every year since that breakthrough victory in Indonesia, picked up his third European Tour title in the last eight months by winning on the fifth playoff hole at the Austria Golf Open. That moved him to No. 79 in the world and earned him an invitation to the Professional Golfers' Assocation (PGA) Championship.
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