Nick’s success at the first stage of the web.com qualifying school earned him a spot in the second stage tournament in Texas, one of five being held around the USA between the 7th and 10th November. The tournament was held at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas.
Nick was one of three amateurs playing in the field of 73 – the top 20 including ties would go through to the final round which meant they would earn full or some playing rights on the web.com Tour. The balance of the field was made up of professional players trying to earn their playing cards back.
Nick had rounds of 71, 74, 68 and 72 to finish at three under and tied for 23rd. Unfortunately he missed the cut by two shots so did not progress through to the final stage.
In Nick’s own words…
Qualifying school is very difficult. The do or die nature of the event is not for the faint hearted, it requires your utmost effort and execution while under the pump! This particular Q school carried quite the consequence – play well and you secure an American visa, play average and you pack your bags and move back to New Zealand. A fair bit was on the line!
I approached the event like I do every other event – prepare diligently, formulate my game plan and take care of business off the course so that I can unleash when competing on the course. I understand that this game takes you on a roller coaster of results and emotions – the best thing that I can do for myself is to take care of everything I can control; my attitude, my effort, my body and my perspective. I know that when I do this, good things will come my way, maybe not immediately, but they will eventually.
My golf was a little on the sloppy side. I wasn’t executing as sharply as I would have liked; both my with trajectory control and with my mental processes. Physically, I felt fine. My body was ready to rock and roll and I had a decent feeling with my swing. Mentally, I felt drained and fatigued. I wasn’t as sharp and confident with my decision making and therefore I simply hit the wrong shot at the wrong time. Little subtleties of the game; the wind direction, slope around the ball and the temperature are all taken into consideration when deciding what shot to hit. Being a little innacurate or sloppy in this decision making caused me to hit a few shots that I wish I could have taken back. It’s not about how many birdies you make, its about how many mistakes you don’t make. It’s a costly lesson to learn but I think that my months of travel, competitive golf and constant grinding leading into the event took it’s toll. When I needed to be a mental giant, I was simply burned out.
I finished the event at 3 under par, 2 shots shy of the top 20 mark that would have secured me membership on the web.com tour. It’s a tough pill to swallow but I will be better off for it. I know it and I’ll be back.
The silver lining with all of this is that I now have clarity in what the next four months are going to look like. There were so many options and opportunities beforehand that it was almost blinding. Things are a lot simpler now.
The next event for me is the final stage of qualifying for the Australasian Tour, I will be competing as a professional. I have three guaranteed starts in New Zealand – the NZ Masters, NZ PGA and NZ Open and this will fit into a schedule with the Australasian circuit. My management company are working on opportunites to compete on the Challenge and European Tours, with which they are very optimistic about securing playing opportunites. My next shot at the USA will take place in April when I will go to the Canadian qualifying school which is a feeding tour to the web.com Tour. A successful week there will see me moving back to Iowa and competing in the summer events up in Canada.
I’m about to turn a chapter in my life; transitioning from the amateur ranks into the professional ones. For me, nothing is going to change. Turning professional is not a destination or final goal, it is simply a platform for me to continue working towards my dream and developing as a person. If anything, Ill be kicked back to the bottom of the ranks and forced to move my way up in the professional universe. That very propostion is exciting and exhilirating. I have a fantastic chance to do wonderful things with this game and I have every bit of determination to do just that.
Thanks again to everybody who has supported me along the way. I’ve been riding the golf roller coaster for quite some time now so it’s time to take the training wheels off and see just how far we can go.
19th to 22nd December 2017 – Final Stage Qualifying School – Australasian PGA Tour. Moonah Links, Melbourne, Australia
11th to 14th January 2018 – NZ Masters – Wainui Golf Club, Auckland, New Zealand
22nd to 25th February 2018 – NZPGA Championships – Manawatu Golf Club, Palmerston North, New Zealand
1st to 4th March 2018 – NZ Open – The Hills, Queenstown, New Zealand
12th to 16th March 2018 – The Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Qualifying Tournament – Carlton Oaks, California, USA
TPC Craig Ranch
TPC Craig Ranch continues to redefine the private golf club experience in Texas. TPC Craig Ranch is located in the Dallas suburb of McKinney, Texas, named “Best Place to Live in America” by Money Magazine (Sept. 2014), on 233 acres of breathtaking countryside within the gated wellness and lifestyle community of Craig Ranch. TPC Craig Ranch features an award-winning championship golf course with an array of premium amenities with the personalized service and privileges that have become synonymous with the PGA TOUR’s acclaimed TPC Network of clubs.
At TPC Craig Ranch, remarkable golf is just the beginning of an outstanding PGA TOUR experience. Since opening in 2004, the golf course at TPC Craig Ranch has received multiple accolades including being named one of the 10 best golf courses in Texas by Golf Digest in 2011. TPC Craig Ranch is also one of only two golf courses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System. The par-72, 7,438-yard Tom Weiskopf-designed layout is a superb test of golf with stunning views of rolling hills and Rowlett Creek.