Twelve months ago Wade Ormsby prepared for the Honma Hong Kong Open by tending to the garden of his Adelaide home.
This week he will be at the heart of the tournament’s 60th anniversary celebrations at its defending champion.
It’s unfamiliar territory for the South Australian who earned one of the most heartwarming victories of 2018 when he claimed his maiden European Tour title by a shot last year in what was his 264th start on tour.
Fast forward to now and Ormsby is preparing for the unknown having rounded out his 2018 European Tour season with a tie for 30th at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship tournament in Dubai.
As Danny Willett claimed a drought-breaking win of his own and British Open champion Francesco Molinari was proclaimed the Race to Dubai champion, Ormsby was able to reflect on a season that began in the most perfect fashion imaginable.
The 35-year-old finished the 2018 season in 48th position on the Order of Merit – one spot behind fellow Australian Lucas Herbert – and admitted that he is unsure of what to expect when he starts 2019 as a defending champion.
“It’s going to be a new position for me, going back to a European Tour event as defending champion,” Ormsby conceded.
“It’s nice to do it at a golf course that I like and one that I feel I can compete around.
“I have been in contact with the tournament organisers and I sent my manager an email just asking for a summary of what’s in store.
“It’s the 60th anniversary as well so there is a pretty cool celebration for that, hitting a celebratory shot off the first hole but I’m not sure of everything that’s going to be involved.
“Mum and Dad are coming up too so it’s going to be a fun week for the family.”
It’s a far cry from the position Ormsby found himself a year ago.
First reserve for the first of the finals series events in Turkey, Ormsby was forced to return home empty-handed and with time on his hands.
He invested it mainly in the garden before registering a win that would provide status in Europe through until the end of the 2020 season.
“Twelve months ago I was first reserve at Turkey and didn’t get a hit, flew all the way home and got stuck into the garden’” Ormsby revealed.
“I really didn’t have too much going on, I was just waiting for the 2017/18 season to fire up.
“A lot has changed for me on that front. I got my first win which was huge and along with that comes quite a bit of confidence and belief that you belong out here amongst these guys, some of whom you look up to.
“The mindset has changed a little bit the past 12 months.”
Ormsby’s tie for 30th was the best of the three Australasians who qualified for the DP World Tour Championship at Dubai’s Jumeirah Estates with New Zealand’s Ryan Fox finishing tied for 45th to end an outstanding year 22nd on the Order of Merit.
For Lucas Herbert, a year in which he played 21 events as an affiliate member and earned full status for 2019 ended with a tie for 49th and the promise of even more brighter things to come.
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