Peter Nolan: From Pro Shop to Fairways
BY Anthony Powter | Australasian PGA Tour | 2008 Australian PGA Championship | General | 04 Dec 2008
Before turning professional Peter Nolan flipped burgers at McDonald’s in his home town of Ballarat. The flipping utensils were replaced with golf clubs and following his opening 4-under-par 68 at the Australian PGA Championship in Coolum, the former trainee professional is relishing in his opportunity to seriously contest in a major Australian tournament.
Nolan, 26, completed his PGA Traineeship at Royal Melbourne and elected to make the transition into professional tournament golf after encouragement from his coach. His break came during the 2006 Australian season after finishing 11th at the Australian Qualifying School.
Peter Nolan Audio Interview
He made the cut during the 2006 MasterCard Masters finishing in 43rd position, as well as the 2007 New Zealand Open. Nolan ultimately aspires to play with Asian Tour status and will head to Asia Q-School in February.
“I’ve tended been a bit of a slow starter in tournaments,” Nolan said this afternoon in Coolum.
“To come out in a major event this morning and put myself in the mix with some of the bigger players that you do not see all year is terrific for me and I’m really excited playing this event.”
Nolan entered this Australian PGA Championship on the back of consistent results during the recent Von Nida Tour season, with three top-15 finishes including a T7th at last month’s NSW Open.
“The Von Nida’s are a bit different to playing a tournament like the Australian PGA,” he says with a smile.
“Von Nida’s are as a competitive at the top-end, but obviously the field this week is a bit deeper. I don’t feel out of place at all, but there is a difference.”
The transition from pro-shop to fairways was a move Nolan wanted to make and he owes much to his coach Craig Bishop at Patterson River Golf Club, 30 kilometres south of Melbourne in supporting his move. Nolan relishes in the competitive spirit of tournament golf, and he’s hungry to make his mark in professional golf. This morning he did that and at one stage was in second position and only a stroke behind the early leader Geoff Ogilvy.
“The change from 48 hours a week in the shop to 50 hours out on the course is probably the biggest difference. Getting use to course time and having your body ready is another change that I’m finding a challenge. My traineeship taught me discipline, and you apply that with tournament golf.”
Nolan’s morning round of an even 34’s for both nines around the challenging Coolum layout to be 4-under the card, currently has him at tied 6th position, with the likes of Geoff Ogilvy only a shot ahead. Both Ogivly and Nolan are in the clubhouse before a strong storm front suspended the afternoon field at 3.03pm, with 78 players still out on the course who will re-commence their rounds at 5.30am tomorrow.
“I’m starting to feel more at home with tournament golf and my results are beginning to reflect that,” says Nolan.
“This is the first year that I’ve been competitive on tour. I’ve played this event for the last three years and the last two I’ve felt like that I’m just trying to figure out how to shoot 20-under out there.”
By his own admission Nolan feels his making progress and this mornings start was reflective of what continues to be a solid season.
“I think you look at it with different eyes every time you’re here,” he says about playing Coolum.
“This week is a big week for me and with a good result I might get into next week’s Australian Open. There are no guarantees in this game, but this is the start I was wanting and I’m looking forward seeing how it all unfolds.”