Tim Stewart: Living the Open Dream
BY Anthony Powter | European PGA Tour | 2009 British Open | General | 19 Jul 2009
Tim Stewart is an optimist. In professional golf you have to be, yet in the nine months since the Sydneysider turned professional the former Australian Amateur Champion has had the golfing gods on his side more times than not.
Stewart’s game has continued to evolve and this week during The Open Championship at Turnberry, it took another step in the right direction.
Despite missing the cut after rounds of 74-77, Stewart returns this week to the Asian Tour knowing what it’s like to play a Major. It is a feeling that many rookies never experience.
“This week was more about feeling the experience,” says Stewart, runner-up in the 2007 British Amateur.
“It is tournament golf at a whole new level. It was incredible to say the least. It really gives me something to measure yourself against when you see the world’s best preparing for a major and how they prepare for the conditions that you have to play.”
Since announcing that he had turned professional in November 2008, Stewart has only missed one cut and has played a Major. A top-40 finish at the 2009 Asian Qualifying School secured his playing privileges on this season’s Asian Tour where he presently stands 83rd on the moneylist.
Keeping in perspective the Asian Tour has been in recess since May and gets back into the full swing next week starting with the Indonesia President Invitational, Stewart has been in the money on four occasions and missed only one cut. Stewart’s rookie year has certainly been more about the positives than negatives.
“Overall, I’m pleased with my progress,” he says.
“This week was kind of new territory for me, it was stadium golf to say the least. It was great to be in the height of the competition and more to the point it was even greater that I was playing in it.”
Stewart takes a lot away from Turnberry with the experience not only rewarding, but comforting for him.
“I know that I’m moving in the right direction,” he says.
“I feel good about my game and come away from this week with a lot of experience. Hopefully I can pick up a win in Asia before the year is out and that will go a long way towards pushing me to The Open next year.”
Stewart progressed from an outstanding amateur career where he collected four major amateur titles, including the 2006 Australian Amateur Championship and 2007 Singapore Open Amateur, as well as a number of runner-up finishes in the US with the 2006 Rice Planters and Eastern Amateur.
At lot has changed since Wednesday 29 March 2006 at Royal Hobart Golf Club when as a 21-year-old from Bilgola Plateau on Sydney’s Northern beaches Stewart, the 14th qualifier, secured the Australian Amateur championship title 1-up over Mitchell Brown.
It was a sign of things to come and since Stewart has evolved into one of our most promising golfing talents.
This evening he had just finished attending to some scheduling issues to make it back to Asia this Tuesday to prepare for the Indonesia President Invitational, which starts on Thursday and Stewart’s mind was still spinning with excitement of having played in his first Major. He was looking forward to returning to the Asian Tour knowing that everything was falling nicely into place.
Armed with some new clubs after a brief visit to Nike in the US before The Open, Stewart is set to attack the Asian Tour and the next six months are looking positive.
“It’s all certainly going in the right way,” says Stewart.
“I’m very excited to be getting out there and playing in some regular tournaments. It’s going to be pretty full-on between now and December with tour events and playing Q-schools. It’s going to go fast, but it’s also going to be a hell of a ride.”