Fresh from his first tournament win in four years at the Asian Tour’s Sarawak Championship, Queensland’s Andrew Dodt will experience Palmerston Golf Course for the first time at the Tailor-made Building Services NT PGA Championship.
Dodt is one of nine Australian players who have made the trip from Malaysia for the NT PGA Championship, including former champions Travis Smyth and Daniel Nisbet, as well as Terry Pilkadaris, Jarryd Felton, Adam Blyth, Daniel Gale, Josh Younger and Steven Jeffress.
With a share of the $150,000 prize purse as well as World Golf Ranking Points on offer at the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia tournament, Dodt will be faced by a number of tough competitors as he aims for wins in consecutive weeks.
“Any Australian event is a tough event to win because Aussie players are good players,” Dodt said.
“There are no shortcuts so to win this week you’ve got to bring your a-game.
“In a 120-man field, everyone starts from even par on Thursday morning and you’ve got to have your best game.”
Hailing from a country town just outside of Toowoomba in Queensland, Dodt says the Palmerston Golf Course feels just like home.
“Just walking into the club now, it feels like the country,” he said.
“I grew up in a small country town so I feel like I’m at home already. It’s got that community, country feel that all small clubs have.”
The NT PGA Championship will mark Dodt’s second tournament back from an injury sustained in April and with momentum on his side, believes his form can continue at Palmerston.
“Last week was my first tournament back but I feel like my preparation and practice at home has been pretty good. I’d been hitting it well at home so to transfer that form to a tournament was very pleasing,” he said.
“My game feels like it’s in a very good spot so it’s just back to work and start again. I’m feeling very confident.
“I think it’s important that when you are in form, you need to ride the wave of momentum and keep it going.”
Arriving in Darwin on Tuesday, Dodt will get his first taste of the course in the tournament’s Wednesday Pro-Am, in preparation for the event official teeing off at 7:30am on Thursday morning.
“This is my first time in Darwin so we had last week in Malaysia and next week in Indonesia so it was a perfect fit to come down to Darwin in between,” he said.
Dodt says that while his Sarawak Championship win wasn’t easy, it was relieving to get the monkey off the back.
“The last two groups both had chances to force the playoff,” he said.
“Michah Shin missed the 20-footer so I thought I had won but then Richard (Lee) hit a great shot to five-feet and made eagle so there was a lot happening in the last half an hour. There was a bit of overtime but we got there in the end.”
By Dodt’s side during the playoff was fellow Australian PGA Professional Scott Hend, who helped the Queenslander remain calm and keep his head in the game.
“He was there giving me a few tips to keep loose, keep the body warm, keep moving which really helped,” he said.
“There are a lot of Aussies who play on the Asian Tour so we’re all pretty good mates. If someone’s doing well we try and support them as much as we can and Scott was a great example of that.”
If he makes it to the pointy end in the final round of the NT PGA Championship on Sunday, Dodt says remaining calm under pressure could be the trick to winning again.
“I just stay in the present moment, the old cliché of don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Hitting the old one shot at a time. It’s simple, but it works.”
Dodt will have the support of 10-month old daughter Azalea as well as his wife and father-in-law in the Northern Territory. His father-in-law will also fulfil caddying duties across the tournament.
The Tailor-made Building Services Northern Territory PGA Championship will tee off tomorrow morning from 7:30am at Palmerston Golf Course.
In addition to the winner’s share of the $150,000 prize purse, the champion will receive Official World Golf Ranking Points and be fully exempt onto the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia until the end of the 2020 season.
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