Matt NeSmith is trying to approach this week just like any other.
That may sound difficult to do, given that he'll tee it up Thursday at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier in his debut as a PGA Tour member, but it makes a lot of sense.
There's no point in making the PGA Tour out to be any bigger than it is, and there's no reason for NeSmith to mess with a good thing – he earned Tour status in his rookie season on the Korn Ferry Tour, continuing an upward trajectory that has taken him to the highest level of junior golf, college golf, amateur golf and now professional golf.
This week isn't exactly a debut by the true definition of the word – the North Augusta High and University of South Carolina grad made a handful of previous PGA Tour appearances through various exemptions and qualifiers – but it's still his debut as a card-carrying member.
"This time around, it's been nice. We've got a bunch of starts this year and I've played well this past year," he said. "I can kind of just morph it into where it feels like a normal day, you know? It doesn't feel crazy big or anything. It just feels like another event. All the other ones, I was just trying so hard. It kind of felt like your only opportunity."
NeSmith, 25, secured his Tour card with a strong finish to his rookie Korn Ferry Tour season, earning both his card and his first KFT victory with a birdie on the 72nd hole to win the Albertsons Boise Open, its $180,000 prize and, most importantly, more than enough points to earn him a call-up to the PGA Tour.
The offseason is a short one on the PGA Tour, meaning NeSmith had essentially one free week in between the KFT's Tour Championship and this week at The Greenbrier for the PGA Tour's season opener.
That week off afforded NeSmith a chance for some much-needed decompression – a celebration with family and friends at his parents' house in North Augusta and casual rounds of golf with friends at The Aiken Golf Club and Palmetto Golf Club – but then it was quickly right back to the grind.
NeSmith is grouped with Peter Uihlein and Zac Blair – a familiar face from the KFT – in the first two rounds at The Greenbrier, the first of a handful of fall events that can help NeSmith solidify the rest of his season with strong finishes.
It's been a busy start to PGA Tour life for NeSmith, who attended orientation over the weekend, then played in a pro-am Monday before teaming up with Scott Brown on Tuesday to play a match against Brice Garnett and Roberto Castro.
Though the North Augusta team didn't pull out the victory, Brown had some solid guidance for NeSmith to keep from wearing himself out with all of the various playing opportunities during a tournament week.
"He was just giving a little advice about not playing in every single Monday pro-am, kind of chasing the money," NeSmith said. "They give you a little bit of cash to play in them, so instead of chasing the money to kind of just be rested and play and don't run around trying to do all the Monday pro-ams."
Wednesday should be a lot more relaxing for NeSmith after playing 36 holes at The Greenbrier's Old White TPC Course – he'll be riding a Segway for a PGA Tour video series.
All of these various obligations and opportunities have helped NeSmith's PGA Tour membership sink in, despite the quick turnaround.
"Yeah, man, it's cool. It's really, really cool," he said. "It's fun to kind of enjoy the ride, you know, and enjoy some of the perks and get ready to go."
NeSmith established himself as the KFT's best iron player, finishing first for the season in greens in regulation percentage (76.13 percent). He also finished 20th in driving accuracy (68.42 percent), 17th in scoring average (69.91) and sixth in total birdies (317).
Those are all solid reasons for him not to change what he's been doing, just focus more on getting a little better a little more consistent.
NeSmith made his first PGA Tour appearance seven years ago at the Wyndham Championship, the week before he started college at South Carolina. He made appearances at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in 2013 and 2016, and he added a trip in late 2016 at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico. Wedged in between all of those was his appearance at the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.
A return to the Mayakoba – and hopefully not a repeat of his illness in 2016 – is on the schedule for this year, as are the other fall events in Mississippi, California, Las Vegas and Houston. He'll skip an event to marry fiancee Abigail Pait at the start of November, and then it's right back to the PGA Tour schedule.
He'll get to play in the Sony Open in Hawaii in January and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, and he's hoping to do well enough in his early events to earn a spot in big events like the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the RBC Heritage.
That all starts this week at The Greenbrier, and NeSmith plans to do what got him here.
"It's what you've been working for your whole life. It's finally here, and you've just got to keep doing what got you here," he said. "Keep doing what got you here and just let the chips fall where they may, man."