Daniel Nisbet: Expectations High in UK
BY Anthony Powter | World Amateur Mens Tour | 2009 British Amateur Championship | Preview | 15 Jun 2009
Daniel Nisbet is not one that lacks confidence and self-belief in his game. At 18-years-old Nisbet has already proved himself as one of Australia’s most promising emerging talents.
Four wins from four starts this Australian season resulted in Nisbet creating history with the longest winning major Australian amateur title streak, after securing the Golf SA Amateur Classic at Royal Adelaide, the Queesland Amateur Stroke and the Queensland Amateur and last month’s Keperra Bowl.
This week in Liverpool, Nisbet is preparing for The Amateur Championship. The Australian has spent hours on the range fine tuning his game for the variances of links golf, hitting low punch shots and getting the feel of the wind whilst putting, as well as getting use to the UK summer.
It’s been a sobering journey for Nisbet in his first tour to the UK, but one that he’s relishing.
“It’s very different to what we are used to back home,” says Nisbet.
“I’ve never been in bunkers that are so deep before. It’s also been very cold, even if it is their summer, but we are getting used to it and are looking forward to Monday when The Amateur starts.”
Alongside the US Amateur, The British Amateur ranks as the most sought after of amateur crowns. Danny Lee’s spectacular rise last year to be the youngest player to capture the US Amateur on the back of wins at The Western Amateur, catapulted his career into the professional ranks with invites to PGA Tour events and sponsorship deals.
“To me, The Amateur is probably the biggest event that I’ve ever played so far,” says Nisbet.
It’s been three weeks since Nisbet and a handful of other Australians including Jason Scrivener, Brendan Smith, Lincoln Tighe and Matt Jager arrived in the UK. The Australian numbers in the UK are notably lesser than in previous years, a reflection of the current level of funding back home. If you’re not in the AIS squad, then you are virtually finding your own way around the UK and seeking alternative funding.
Many who should be at Liverpool playing this this week aren’t. Daniel Beckmann, Ryan McCarthy and Matthew Giles, to name a few. Irrespective of the funding issues within Golf Australia, the six Australians starting on Monday at The Amateur should fly the Australian flag proudly, in particular Nisbet.
“I’ve got high expectations going into this Championship,” he says.
“I’ve had a few good weeks here and my striking is solid, so I’m looking forward to the challenge. There’s a lot of good players in the field, but I’m happy with the way my game is and looking forward to hopefully making the match play.”
Earlier in the year, Nisbet was commenting that his goal was to simply put four solid rounds of golf in a tournament together. He’s managed to do that, as the results show, and Nisbet has evolved into a better player from his tournament experiences.
This season in the UK is Nisbet’s first, although he’s travelled the US and Asia extensively as a junior with considerable success. Nisbet likes change and the challenges that it brings.
It motivates the Queensland native and keeps him focus towards achieving his goals. At present, Nisbet’s goal is to make a name for himself on the world amateur stage.
In early January when playing the NEC Master of the Amateurs at Yarra Yarra, Nisbet’s world amateur ranking was 130th. Presently, Nisbet sits inside the world’s top 20, the quick assent in world rankings reflective of his talent and achievement already this season.
“This is my first full year playing these main amateur events and I’m enjoying every bit of it,” says the 2008 Australian Junior and dual Queensland Junior and Men’s Champion.
“You obviously appreciate the quality of the field at events like these [The Amateur], as there are so many good players that you are up against. That makes you focus harder and you know that you belong out there and that you can compete against the best.”
Nisbet is quickly finding his footing on the international amateur stage despite only just recently graduating from the junior ranks.
With his expectations on a high, Nisbet should feature strongly this week at Formby and West Lancashire and it will be interesting to follow his journey in his maiden British Amateur.
“I’ve had a few good weeks here of solid ball striking and getting use to everything,” he says.
“My putting still has a little bit of work to be done there, but I feel that I can shoot a few low numbers that will with a bit of luck, get me into the match play.”