Victorian James Marchesani was banging on the door of his first Professional victory on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia before achieving the feat on the PGA TOUR-China at the Clearwater Bay Open just over a week ago.
It’s a just reward for the 27-year-old who has come close to a win with four top-10 finishes on his home Tour so far in 2017 and will tee it up this week at Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club for the NSW Open from 16-18 November.
Prior to his victory Marchesani’s season was highlighted by a joint runner-up finish at this year’s AU$1.5 million Fiji International, a tri-sanctioned event with the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, European Tour and Asian Tour.
Marchesani stopped short of saying it’s a relief to capture a win but is feeling good about his game after finishing in the winner’s circle.
“It feels pretty good now that I’m not chasing that first win. Hopefully I can keep letting the clubs do the talking, keep playing well like I have been and get another win,” Marchesani said.
The thrilling come from behind victory culminated with a clutch birdie putt on the 72nd hole for his maiden victory.
“I felt like I was in the tournament all day although my score didn’t really show it, it was pretty tough early,” added Marchesani, who in 2014 asked Jack Nicklaus how he coped with standing over clutch putts in major tournaments. The advice from the Golden Bear was to think of them as an opportunity rather than pressure.
“I knew the back-9 had yielded some birdies for me during the week so I felt like if I kept hitting good shots I’d be in the mix, I managed to do that and birdied my last shot.”
Now with full status on the PGA TOUR-China for 2018 and likely to retain full status on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia courtesy of the prizemoney he’s accumulated this season, Marchesani has a busy schedule ahead of him next year.
“I’ll retain full status here in Australia and then I get status through PGA TOUR-China next year with the win so touch wood the schedules should fit. I believe it will run from April through to November which is in the middle of the season here and that’s absolutely perfect for me,” Marchesani added.
“Hopefully I get some dates and times soon and I can put together a schedule.”
The PGA TOUR-China returns in its entirety next season and means a pathway to join the Web.com Tour in the United States opens up for Marchesani and his fellow Professionals.
After representing Oklahoma City while playing college golf, Marchesani said he’s confident he could slip in to a familiar routine should he earn a place on the Tour.
“I obviously played college golf and spent a lot of time over there playing and felt comfortable doing so,” added Marchesani, who in 2014 was recipient of one of American College golf’s most prestigious awards; the Jack Nicklaus Award.
“I think it’ll change depending on how I’m playing; you’ve got to finish top-5 on their Order of Merit to gain a Web.com start.
“So the focus is obviously to one day hopefully get back there and play, but for now I’ll just keep playing good golf and the rest will figure itself out.”
For now, with the NSW Open, Emirates Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship to run over the next three weeks and with large successive prize purses on offer, Marchesani has his mind focused on climbing the Order of Merit and reaping the benefits that come with a strong finish on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
“I’m feeling pretty good, the goal now is to finish strong and push up the Order of Merit to maybe open some doors in to the U.S. next year with WGC events and that sort of thing,” Marchesani added.
“You can’t control what those boys (the Order of Merit leaders) do and if they play well and really push away I obviously can’t do anything about that but try and beat them.”
“I’m just trying to play as well as I can and if it happens that I do catch them, it’ll be awesome because it will open some huge doors.
“But again I need to worry about my own game, I’ve obviously had a good year up until now and I’d like to finish that off.”
The NSW Open will be played from 16-19 November 2017 at Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club. The Championship is a part of an action-packed Australian summer of golf and forms part of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
The final two rounds, 18-19 November, will be live streamed on PGA TV from 12pm – 5pm.
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