It’s been a whirlwind 12 months for Nathan Holman and yesterday he arrived back where it all started.
Walking into RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, Holman had a rush of memories come flooding back of his career making victory at the 2015 Australian PGA Championship.
“I’ve obviously got some great memories from my win and I’ve had some flashbacks since getting here,” said Holman.
“Obviously having won the tournament here last year, you experience those emotions again and I feel comfortable on the golf course.
“Knowing that I’ve played well here in the past is a great confidence booster and gives me some clarity in my head, so it’s very nice to come back here.”
The Australian PGA Championship was a win that catapulted him onto the European Tour this year where he has been on a steep learning curve.
“It’s obviously been a very big learning experience for me. I started off pretty well but during the middle and towards the end of the year I didn’t bring my best golf, so it was disappointing to have not played as well as I would’ve liked,” added Holman.
“I have matured a lot. Playing on the European Tour and playing some world golf championships, the British Open… you start to mature.
“You play with some really great players throughout the year, and try to pick a few things from them and learn a little bit along the way. I definitely come back this year as a more mature golfer.”
Holman has officially returned the Joe Kirkwood Cup to the PGA of Australia and is now in preparation mode to try and secure it again.
“I’ve been the PGA Champion for the past year, travelled round the world playing in some great tournaments and visiting some great places. It’s sad to have to give the trophy back, but hopefully I’ll be able to do it all again on Sunday,” added Holman, who hasn’t had a smooth lead up to his title defence having to withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
“It wasn’t a great way to finish the year in Europe. I have had a bad back since October. I never really gave it enough time to let it heal.
“It was the first time I’ve had to withdraw from a tournament through injury. It was a new experience and something you don’t want to have to do too often.
“Over the last two weeks it’s been a good time at home and I have been able to do some good practice and let my back heal.
“It’s good coming here knowing its fine, and I can go tee off on Thursday pain-free.”
This week Holman joins a star studded field as he aims to defend his title and it is company that he is excited to be amongst.
“It’s just nice playing in an event with them here. Adam (Scott) has done it a long time, he’s come back to support our Tour, Marc (Leishman) is back again which is good, and Ian (Poulter) adds a bit of international class. It’s definitely nice to have those guys here. It adds class to the tournament, it’s just better for everyone. Every competitor here will get something out of those guys playing here this week,” added Holman, who is eyeing a pairing with tournament drawcard; Ian Poulter.
“I’ve never played with Ian before, so it’d be a great experience if it happens. But you don’t expect anything. I’m looking forward to playing on Thursday no matter who I’m paired with, but it would be lovely to go out with any of those guys.”
Holman will join World Number 7 Adam Scott, Englishman Ian Poulter, Marc Leishman, Scott Hend, Marcus Fraser, American Harold Varner III and New Zealanders Danny Lee and Ryan Fox at the Australian PGA Championship.
The Australian PGA Championship is proudly supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland’s It’s Live! in Queensland major events calendar.
The Australian PGA Championship will be played at RACV Royal Pines Resort from 1-4 December with tickets on sale via Ticketek.