Second year professional Anthony Quayle hopes to use the lessons learnt by spending time with Adam Scott to assume the mantle as the leading local hope at the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.
Players will begin their preparations in their pursuit of the Joe Kirkwood Cup from Monday with Quayle using the disappointment of missing the cut at the Emirates Australian Open to undertake some early reconnaissance at the Graham Marsh-designed layout.
Like Scott, Quayle is based at Sanctuary Cove but will make his Australian PGA Championship debut this week in front of an armada of family and friends.
First alternate two years ago when still an amateur, Quayle missed the 2017 tournament won by Cameron Smith as he locked up a Japan Golf Tour card at Final Stage of Qualifying School and enters the 2018 PGA in position to claim the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit.
Runner-up at the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways where he played the final round alongside South African legend Ernie Els, Quayle played a practice round with Scott at the Japan Open in October and paid close attention to how the World Number 41 prepared.
“I’ve had a few conversations with him and tried to pick his brain a little bit,” Quayle said of his relationship with Scott.
“I played a practice round with him at the Japan Open a few weeks ago.
“When we had the practice round there wasn’t any one piece of advice but just watching how he went about his business.
“How he practised, the level of professionalism in that he had with the way he went about things. He had his coach and his caddie there and they were really trying to get a solid game plan for the week.
“It was just his whole demeanour and how he carried himself, it’s something that sets the standard for all of us trying to do the same.
“He’s just a great guy, really welcoming, real forthcoming with information of how to help the younger generation.
“He’s a fantastic role model for everyone our age and younger and on and off the course just a great guy.”
When Scott completed his Masters coronation with victory at the 2013 Australian PGA Championship, Quayle was a 19-year-old aspiring golfer who was among the thousands who watched from outside the ropes.
Australia’s World Cup representatives Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith will headline this week’s PGA field with Quayle defending the decision by Scott to skip both the Australian Open and PGA this summer.
Quickly coming to terms with juggling a playing schedule – Quayle has already had to change the date of his wedding next year to fit in with the Australian Open in December – the 24-year-old represents an exciting generation of players eager to follow in Scott’s footsteps.
“From a player’s perspective he’s given a lot back to Australian golf over the past 20 years,” said Quayle, a nominee for the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Player of the Year at the Greg Norman Medal dinner on Tuesday night.
“He’s at the point where he has to start looking after his own body and his own schedule.
“I don’t think it’s like that he’ll never play an Aussie event again, just at the moment that’s what he has to do and that’s fair enough.”
Third on the Order of Merit behind fellow Queenslanders Jake McLeod and Daniel Nisbet, the equation for Quayle is simple if he hopes to finish the week on top and claim not only a maiden professional win but also a one-year membership on the lucrative European Tour.
“To win the Order of Merit I probably have to finish top three. Outside of top three and I don’t think there’s a chance,” he said.
“The goal going into the week is just to try and win the golf tournament. Obviously if I do that then I don’t have to worry about what anybody else does.
“If I go in there playing as well as I can and controlling my emotions I think I should be a decent chance.”
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