In a star studded Emirates Australian Open field, Damien Jordan may slip under the radar but his story is one of the most poignant out there.
In 2006, when World Number 12 Jason Day was Australia’s next great hope winning the Australian Amateur and World Number 2 Jordan Spieth was just entering his teenage years, Damien Jordan was completing his second tour of Iraq with the Australian Army.
However this week all three players will tee it up at The Australian Golf Club in pursuit of the Stonehaven Cup.
Spieth is the defending champion, Day is aiming to win on home soil for the first time and Jordan is making his debut at 37 years of age.
“Golf wasn’t even on my radar in 2006; it was just all about the army, it’s amazing how things change,” said Jordan.
“Playing in the Australian Open is something that I have always wanted to tick off my bucket list. Now that I am here it still feels surreal. I will probably be a little bit nervous on the first tee but I can’t wait to get into it.”
Jordan earned his place in the field this week thanks to recording his first victory on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia at the Victorian PGA Championship in February.
Having been excited about the opportunity all year, Jordan has brought his father with him to cheer him on.
“What a fantastic course to make my Aussie Open debut on. I can’t believe how good the course is. The bunkers are unbelievable and the greens are spectacular,” added Jordan.
“I couldn’t wait for this week. I have brought my old man down to experience it with me, I just can’t wait to get out there and rip in.”
Jordan has been in excellent form this year, recording a further four top-10 finishes after his win, two of those coming in October at the WA Open and NSW Open just last week.
To ensure his game is up to the task again this week, Jordan has spent the day preparing on course with his coach, Ben Cronk, the PGA Pro at Chinderah Golf.
“It is a course where you need to hit every shot well, every shot has to be pure, you have to putt well and hit it to the right spots. You really need to be on your game,” Jordan said of The Australian layout.
“I have put a lot of hard work in. My coach arrived this morning so we can fine tune a few things.”
Following this week, Jordan will also make his debut at the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast.
“I have played RACV Royal Pines Resort a bunch of times so I’ll have a little bit of a home game advantage,” added Jordan.
“You learn from your experiences and try to use it as much to your advantage as possible. So I’ll also take what I learn this week into next week.”
The Emirates Australian Open tees off at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney on Thursday.
Tee times will be made available later today at pga.org.au
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