PROFESSIONAL golf, like surfing, is about momentum.

When you’re sitting in the line-up, you spot an opportunity and it’s your time to take off, how you maximise the wave that sweeps through determines success or failure.

It’s when preparation meets opportunity; when instinct and training meld effortlessly and you ride that momentum for as long as you can.

When Victorian David Micheluzzi birdied three of his final four holes at the WA PGA Championship in the desert of Kalgoorlie last October, it set off a chain of events that has since taken him around the world.

Subsequent wins at TPS Sydney and the NSW Open didn’t just earn Micheluzzi the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit crown, it opened doors to a PGA Tour debut and major championship appearances at both the US PGA Championship and Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

It was a summer slam not seen for almost 20 years and opened the eyes of his contemporaries to what’s possible.

Louis Dobbelaar – one of the players looking to make the most of the summer of golf in Australia. 

Here are seven players expected to line up for their own endless summer.

Louis Dobbelaar: It’s been 18 months since Dobbelaar burst onto the scene and threatened to dominate the Aussie tour in the manner of Micheluzzi last year. He was third at the Australian PGA won by Jed Morgan in January 2022, third again a week later at the Queensland PGA and then fifth at TPS Hunter Valley seven weeks later. Dobbelaar endured a difficult period thereafter but broke through at the NZ PGA in March. Expect that to be his springboard into a big season.

Brett Coletta: One of the “can’t miss” kids who had their progress disrupted by Covid-19, Coletta narrowly missed PGA Tour promotion via the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019. He had just two top-10s in 31 starts across the 2020 and 2021 seasons before recapturing the type of form that made him one of the world’s top amateurs. He was runner-up at the Vic PGA and then shot a course record nine-under par 61 in the final round of TPS Hunter Valley to tie Lincoln Tighe and ultimately win in a playoff. The international scene beckons

Daniel Gale: You can only knock on the door so many times before it completely caves in. Winner of the SP PNG Open in his rookie season in 2018, the Sydneysider with the quirky swing has regularly been in contention of late and recently won the NT PGA Championship after four top 20 finishes last year including runner-up to Micheluzzi at TPS Sydney. Expect to see more good results over summer.

Haydn Barron: Last year’s Rookie of the Year has now played a major championship as he endeavours to take his game to the next level. Barron’s eagle at the 72nd hole and tie for fourth at the Australian Open secured his spot at The Open Championship where he missed the cut with rounds of 74-77. His game is developing quickly; a shot of confidence could be all it needs to take him over the edge.

Lawry Flynn: Any player who flirts with 59 in a tour event is one worth watching. A left-handed flusher from Dalby west of Brisbane, Flynn won the Malaysian Amateur Open in 2019 and won the Maroochy River Pro-Am in his pro debut in 2021. He went 63-62 in the middle rounds to play his way into the final group at the WA Open last October and then became just the fourth player to shoot 60 in a PGA Tour of Australasia event in round 3 of TPS Sydney in February. His time is coming.

Maverick Antcliff: An extraordinary run on the China Tour in 2019 brought Antcliff to the attention of the golf world. In 11 successive events he won three times, was runner-up once, third once and top 10 a further four times, winning the Order of Merit with almost double the prizemoney of his nearest challenger. It earned Antcliff a spot on the DP World Tour where he finished tied for third at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in his rookie season in 2020. He was second at the Canary Islands Championship the following season but has endured a difficult run the past two years. A summer on home soil might be just the spark he needs.

Lachlan Barker: Look beyond Barker’s victory at the season-opening PNG Open in May and you will see a player who has been building towards something big. The Malaysian Amateur Open champion in 2016, Barker joined Iowa State University in 2017 and over the next five years compiled a stroke average of 72.06, the second-best in school history. He missed a playoff at the Queensland PGA by two strokes and now has a win on tour to his name. The world awaits.

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