Down The Fairway: Nitties aims to put game in order in WAOn 08/07/2019 by admin
IN THE SWING: James Nitties has his sights set on topping the Australian money list. The 35-year-old will tee up in the West Australian Open starting Thursday. Picture: Ryan OslandThe Australasian order of merit is a big deal for James Nitties.
It’s the 35-year-old’s best chance of earning a return to one of the major tours.
It’s also the reason he made the long trip to Perth this week to compete at the $100,000 Western Australia Open.
Nitties sits third on the order of merit, having pocketed $188,156, approaching the main part of the season.
Daniel Nisbet heads the money list with $218,648. The leading player,not otherwise exempt, following the season-ending Australian PGA at Royal Pines (Nov 29-Dec 2) secures full status on the European Tour in 2019 as well as a start in the Open Championship and two World Golf Championshipevents.
“I’m trying to make as much money as I can for the moneylist,” Nitties said from Melbourne where he finished tied for 30th at the The Eynesbury Masters. “If I took Perth off and I ended up losing by $100, I would be a little angry. It’s rare that that would happen. I’m just giving myself every opportunity and I’d rather be playing than having a week off.”
After Perth, Nitties will tee up at the Queensland Open (Nov 1-4), NSW Open (Nov 8-11), Australian Open (Nov 15-18) and Australian PGA.
“I am pretty excited about the remainder of the year,” he said. “I’m hungry and pumped to be playing golf.”
Perth will be Nitties’ third tournament back after taking five weeks off to return to the US and visit his girlfriend.
“It was pretty chilled,” he said.” I just hung out with the missus, watched a bit of football and got away from it for a bit. Since I’ve been home I’veplayed 10 rounds of golf and it has poured rain in six of them. Cold and rainy is not my strength. The body is a bit old for that.I just want to be ready for the big three [tournaments] and play myself back into form in the next two weeks.”
He has been workingwith coach, Jason Laws, mainly on his short game.
“The game could be a little bit sharper,” Nitties said. “My putting is just so up and down. I’m trying to get consistently confident with what I’m doing. Try to clear the mind so I can hole some putts.I’m not yipping putts or anything. I just need to see some go in and the rest of the game becomes a little easier.”
Blake Windred, who is a member of the Australian Amateur team, is also in the WA Open field
* Nathan Green continued his love affair with Royal Sydney when he won a 36-hole invitational pro-am onSunday.
Green carded three-over to win the title for a second straight year. Green led the 2006 Australian Open for two rounds at the famous Rose Bay layout after opening with a five-under 67.
* Taree’s Reid Brown fired a two-under 69 to win the Toronto Cup on Saturday. Mick Browning also went two-under but had a prior engagement in the afternoon and forfeited the play-off. Brian Carmichael and Mark Ellison were equal third at even par.
* Matt Stieger fired an 11-under 61 to win the Land Rover Charlestown big hole pro-am last Tuesday.
Stieger finished three strokes in front of Leigh McKechnie and Jake Higginbottom.Ben Wedmaier won the $1000 shoot out at the 18thhole.
* Charlestown professional Ryan Smith was a finalist in the Golf NSW coach of the year award presented on Monday night. The other finalists were NSW Golf High Performance coach Dean Kinney and Khan Pullen, who coaches Australian Open winner Cameron Davis.
Charlestown’s Blake Windred was a finalist in the player of the year.
* Jake Higgingbotton headed to Delhi this week for the India Open full of confidence after winning the $11,000 Waratahpro-am on Saturday.
Higginbottom went on a birdie blitz to finish six under, two strokes clear of Stieger andDavidVan Raalte.
The 25-year-old is 70th on the Asian Tour money list and needs to earn about $20,000 in the final four events to retain his card.
* Muree’s Brayden Brooks carded a three-over 73 to win the Merewether Junior Classic on Sunday from his younger brother Jaxon. Nelson Bay 13-year-old Felix Kaluski won thenett with 68. Lanna New, who is only nine, won the girl’s nett with 74.