Stieger to turn pro after World Amateur

Matt Stieger announced this week that he will turn professional following the World Amateur Teams championship in Turkey.

Stieger, the 2011 Australian Amateur champion, has gained entry to four professional events this summer on the Australasian Tour with confirmed starts in the Western Australian PGA and Western Australian Open, Australian Masters and the New Zealand Open.

Matt Stieger Matt Stieger (Credit: Anthony Powter)

The 21-year-old is hopeful he will receive an invitation to play the Australian Open, which is yet to be offered by Golf Australia, before attending the Asian Tour School in January.

“I am ready for the challenge,” said Stieger, a winner of numerous National Trial events including the 2011 Western Australian Amateur, Tasmanian Open and a quarter-finalist at this year’s British Amateur.

“I have shown that my game is at a lhigh enough level to compete in the pro events after making the cut at the 2009 Australian Open and 2010 Masters, plus my top-10 finishes at the West Australian and NSW Open.”

In making the transition to the professional ranks, Stieger is surrounded by a close knit team, many of whom have stood by and supported him for years.

With John Serhan as his coach and with the support from equipment manufacturer, Srixon, Stieger is aware of the challenges that he will face as a rookie professional.

“It will not be easy,” says Stieger.

“Each step will be a learning process as you get handed the good and bad, but you just have to keep pushing forward.”

If there is one aspect that separates Stieger from the many others that have announced their intention to go professional, it is his tenacity and competitiveness.

To the public Stieger appears at times to be a hard task master upon himself, yet his fighting qualities and pursuit of improvement will serve him well on the competitive and ego-driven professional tour.

“Matt has a tremendous level of focus and work ethic,” says Serhan, who for the last five years has coached Stieger through development squads at St Michael’s Golf Club in Sydney.

“He’s done most of everything we set out to do with amateur golf and has already competed with the pros and has shown he can mix with them.”

Matt has that ‘bulldog’ determination and that is one of his standout features that will help him make the jump seamlessly.”

Currently in Turkey with Daniel Nisbet and Cameron Smith as part of the three-man Australian team competing for the Eisenhower Trophy, Stieger is keen to leave the amateur ranks on a high note and put to bed the past dealings and run-ins he has had with amateur officialdom.

For Stieger, the time is right and it’s time to move on to the next stage of his career.

“I will be playing against guys who, like me, will go professional immediately after the world amateur, so it will be great to show them up here,” says Stieger.

“It’s an exciting time and hopefully if all goes to plan I’ll be playing on the Asian Tour, maybe even the Japanese Tour.”

“Onwards and upwards I say….I’m looking forward to it.”