Nisbet: Letting The Clubs Do The Talking
Daniel Nisbet has the self belief that professional golf will be his future and you would be hard pressed not to agree given his recent results.
In one of the sweetest victories this season, Nisbet secured the 2012 Lake Macquarie Amateur in January with a three stroke victory over Cameron Smith. It was his first major amateur win for two years.
That week at Belmont, Nisbet let his clubs do the talking by firing rounds of 65-68-69-71 to finish at 15-under-par with Smith finishing at 12-under-par. In the process the Queenslander disposed of an international field and confirmed his standing as one of Australia’s top-ranked amateurs.
In the UK leg of this tour he made the top-16 at the British Amateur and headed to the US with plenty of confidence about his game and standing.
A prolific driver of the ball, Nisbet has the ability to rip apart any layout with his distance off the tee and it is impressing the Americans – who are lovers of the big booming driving game.
Last month, Nisbet won the prestigious Players Amateur to become the first Australian in two years to claim a major American amateur title.
The win at the Players Amateur was significant for Nisbet in many ways.
Not only was it Nisbet’s first amateur title in the US, the win sees him gaining a sponsor’s invitation to the PGA Tour event in the RBC Heritage next April at Harbour Town Golf Links.
“To win an event like The Players was something special,” said Nisbet at the Western Amateur in Chicago.
“My game is strong and I am limiting the mistakes out there, so hopefully I can get another win. The US Amateur is one I would love to do well in and I am looking forward to it.”
Nisbet gained automatic qualification to this month’s US Amateur, to be played at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado, through his world ranking. Those players inside the top-50 in the R&A USGA world ranking have for the first time not been required to pre-qualify.
With a current ranking of 25 and climbing, Nisbet had headed to the UK and US outside the top-50 but stellar performances at the British Amateur, where he made the top-16, and in the US has the 22-year-old well inside the desired top-number.
“Those close to me always had belief that I would do well here and win an event in the US.”
“Over here you need to be able to hit more fairways and stay out of the rough. I have been more consistent off the tee and the results are showing that. The plan is to be playing here on some type of tour this time next year.”
Few would argue that Nisbet possesses the game to progress to the next level.
Nisbet is currently aiming to make the Australian team for the World Amateur Team Championships in Turkey and to play well at this month’s US Amateur. He knows getting results in the US is important to his chances of making the four-man team that will be announced by Golf Australia in the coming weeks.
Whilst touring has, and continues to be, challenging, Nisbet keeps it in perspective.
“It seems to have been a long time that we have been away,” he says.
“But competing here against the best amateur players in the world is the only way to take your game to the next level. I’m enjoying playing and with that you get more confidence to execute the shots that you need to around these courses.”
Nisbet, who hails from the Caboolture Golf Club north of Brisbane, a club that also produced US Tour player Rod Pampling, knows he needs to keep improving his game to progress to the next level.
“It is tough at times when you are touring,” he says.
“Out on the course it can become a real mental battle with yourself and that’s an area which we are focusing on improving.”
“The ability to stay focused and minimise your mistakes is what separates those who get the results because there are so many good players who can win in these events.”
Back in 2009 in Australasia, Nisbet was unstoppable winning four National trial events an an international event in Hong Kong. Three years on, Nisbet is even a better player.
Whilst it is dangerous to make predictions as to what might follow, Nisbet continues to get the attention of the golfing public, particularly in bigger events.
Nothing is a sure thing, but with Daniel Nisbet you cannot help but think he’ll be around for a long time and it’s certainly a good thing to watch as he tries to earn his place on the world golfing stage displaying his own unique style.