TWENTY FOUR year old Aussie golfer Nathan Holman had a big change of fortune Sunday with his 2015 Australian PGA Championship playoff victory catapulting him to the British Open and other prestigious events.
The young Victorian was left a little shaken after being told he will play The Open at Royal Troon in July, the 2016 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio and have a two year exception on the European Tour.
“It’s huge. I didn’t realise what was on the line really. It’s probably a good thing to be honest. I did think I’d get to those events in the future. I didn’t think it was going to be this quickly,” Holman said.
“For a young Australian guy to be able to go and play those events, play British Opens, it’s stuff you dream of playing golf when you’re a kid, to get into those events, just to play them. It’s going to be an amazing feeling and to do it off the back of a victory I think is probably going to be better. I’ve deserved it, so I can go there knowing that I’ve done something really good to be here.”
Holman, a member of the Woodlands Golf Club in Melbourne, turned professional in October 2013 after an amateur career which he left ranked No.2 in Australia.
In just his fifth professional tournament in November 2013 he was tied for the lead at the halfway mark of the Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne and after playing the third round with idol Adam Scott was tied third going into the final round. Unfortunately the occasion got to him and he shot a 78 to finish 15th.
This year he played on the European Tour but had limited starts due to injury and lost his playing privileges after finishing 135th on the Race to Dubai.
On Sunday at the RAVC Royal Pines his start wasn’t that much better with a double bogey on the first. He had started as the leading Aussie two behind the joint leaders America’s Harold Varner 111 and South Africans Dylan Frittelli and Zander Lombard.
Holman steadied the ship and had a two stroke lead coming down the stretch but two bogies on the last two holes put him into a playoff with Varner and Frittelli.
Holman coolly put his approach onto the centre of the green and a par was enough to secure his first professional win, as well as see him top the 2015 PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit.
“It’s crazy. Walking off that 18th hole when I hit that shot onto the green, it kind of started to feel like the legs were a little bit shaky, kind of probably thinking into the future a little bit and I tried to snap out of that. Obviously had a little bit of help there with the two guys making bogey, but to win the event, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Nathan Holman claims the 2015 Australian PGA Championship: Video
Rounding out the Australian PGA Championship’s top-10 were, South African Zander Lombard who finished fourth on 1-over 289 taking out the Kel Nagle Plate for the best performing rookie while Queensland’s Cameron Smith secured fifth spot on 2-over 290.
In a tie for sixth Dimitrios Papadatos, Richard Green and Matthew Millar ended their week on 3-over 291. While Adam Stephens, Peter Lonard, Mathew Goggin, Jordan Zunic, Anthony Brown, Nino Bertasio, Matthew Griffin, Rory Bourke and David Lingmerth all ended their week on 4-over 292.
Australian PGA Campionship Leaderboard
Speechless. Best feeling ever ???pic.twitter.com/owXLRMJhrC
— Nathan Holman (@nholman37) December 6, 2015