Former James Nash student to play at the Australian Open
GOLF: Former James Nash student Charlie Dann has his sights on the top 60 as he prepares for the 2018 Australian Open, which gets underway in Sydney tomorrow.
Dan had to outplay 80 top professional and amateur players to make the cut for the Open, which he says will helop him become accustomed to playing in front of the media, cameras and crowds ahead of turning pro at the end of the year.
"It's good to be on the world stage, with roped off areas. It is a big organisation down here,” he said from the Sydney course yesterday, where he was playing a practice round.
"I missed out by a few shots when I tried to qualify (for the Open) last year,” he said.
"This will be a good way to fit in before turning professional. To get used to the media and dealing with the cameras and crowds.”
The Open will be headlined by Australian golfers Cameron Davis, Cameron Smith and American Matt Kuchar.
Despite the big names competing, Dann has a simple goal:
"I'm going to keep this week really simple and just enjoy every moment.”
"The first two rounds of the tournament are played on Thursday and Friday, the top 60 from that then go on to play on the weekend.”
The Gympie export goes into the tournament in good form.
"The last few weeks I have played events in Canberra and Brisbane. I was leading in Canberra until the last hole and finished third in Brisbane,” he said.
"You can look at that in two ways and I like to take the positive - that I was in good contention to win two tournaments.
"My practice and playing has been really good. I have been pretty consistent.”
Gympie golf coach Patrick Jones said yesterday his former pupil was a natural talent.
"He was naturally good and we worked on his swing development and solid grounding,” he said.
"Charlie's totally different to when I was coaching him. I was more competitive against him during that time.”
As one of Jones most successful students, he is excited to see how far Dann can go.
"He's in pretty good form and playing in the Open is a big breakthrough for him as he's goal is to turn pro.”
The Open will be played at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney from tomorrow. More information www.golf.org.au/ausopen.