Holman hits paydirt at Wales Open

Nathan Holman has never been shy of doing the hard yards and playing outside his comfort zone.

As an amateur he proved his capacity to box well above his weight and was a prolific winner claiming the Australian Master of the Amateurs in 2012 for his fourth win at the time in less than a twelve month period following victories at the Riversdale Cup, Portsea Open and Victorian Amateur in 2011.

Nathan Holman Nathan Holman (Credit: Anthony Powter)

On Sunday at the Wales Open on the European Tour and playing on a sponsor’s invite, Holman reeled off five birdies over the back nine to record his first top-20 finish in just his third European Tour start.

Holman’s 6-under 65 was bettered by only one player on the final day and saw the 23-year-old pick up a cheque for €28,138 (AUD$40,500).

Whilst having status on the Australasian, OneAsia and Asian Tours, Holman has always had his focus on playing in Europe since turning professional in October 2013.

Holman arrive in Europe in August and has played two European Challenge tour events making the cut both times. In his four starts in Europe, he’s been in the money in three.

Holman’s immediate goal is to be as consistent as he can and take advantage of the opportunities as they arise. He knows competitive golf can be fickle at times, yet opportunities fall to players that create them.

“To get a finish in the top-20 shows that I belong here,” says Holman.

“It shows that it’s [a win] not that far away. The aim is to play into the European Tour. It’s been pleasing and I’m getting comfortable now playing these bigger events.”

Holman admits he’s still on a learning curve, yet sees his time in his rookie professional year in a positive light.

“The more times you put yourself into position, the more you learn,” he says.

“Experiencing being under pressure, the better you get at it. It’s just that position that you need to be in and from there you learn.”

Holman knows how to win, as he proved as an amateur. There’s been his share of chances in professional events also, no more so than at the 2013 Victorian Open where Holman finished 3rd after leading the field going into the final round.

“I was a little disappointed with that result,” says Holman.

“I pretty much controlled the tournament till the last 18 holes but just slipped up at the very end. I took the positive out of that, but it was a little sour.”

Holman then went on to have an impressive Australian tour season with a top-15 finish at the Australian Masters and a top-10 result at the Australian Open.

That’s the past and Holman is a player who looks towards the future.

“I enjoyed playing in Asia and have learned a lot there,” says Holman, who gained his Asian Tour card in his first attempt at Q-School back in April.

“Now, hopefully, I can also play onto the European Tour as well, that’s the aim.”