LOS ANGELES: Nathan Green hopes home-course advantage and last year’s experience will help him through this week’s second stage of US PGA Tour qualifying school.
The Novocastrian is among 24 Australians teeing it up at six different venues across the US for four rounds.
For the final time before new rules dismiss direct access to the PGA Tour, hundreds of golfers from around the world are competing to advance to the six-round final qualifying stage in Palm Springs from November 28 to December 3.
From next year, the qualifying school will provide access only onto the secondary web.com Tour. The cards that previously went to q-school graduates will be up for grabs in a play-off series between PGA Tour golfers who failed to retain cards and web.com Tour players who played well.
Green and Jarrod Lyle were the only Australians to go all the way through qualifying to reclaim tour cards last year.
The winner of the Canadian Open three years ago, Green tees it up for the second stage at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, with plenty of local knowledge as it is his home course in the US.
He qualified through the same stage on the same course last year, before getting the last card in the final q-school stage with a blistering final round.
‘‘It’s disappointing to be back here again, but I am always thinking there is light at the end of the tunnel to turn it around,’’ Green said.
‘‘I think I’m a better golfer than what I have shown the last few years, so I’d love to stay on tour and compete like I did my first few years.
‘‘You just have to realise everyone is there for a reason. They’ve either had a bad year or there are a handful of good young guys who got through first stage.
‘‘You just have to handle the nerves and get the job done.
‘‘I have been here before and I know what it takes to get through and hopefully, at the end of the week, it’s a good story for me.’’
Joining Green in second-stage action will be fellow Novocastrians James Nitties and Nick Flanagan and other Australians Aron Price, Daniel Nisbet, Steven Bowditch, Matt Jones, Michael Sim, David McKenzie, Rhein Gibson, Mathew Goggin, Jamie Arnold, Matthew Griffin, Ashley Hall, Gavin Coles, Peter Lonard, Won Joon Lee, Anthony Summers, Steve Allan, Marcus Both, Nick Cullen, Luke Hickmott, Bryden MacPherson and Kieran Pratt.
The reality of the situation is not lost on Sydney’s Price.
‘‘This is the last chance for guys to do a John Huh and go from making nothing to making $2million,’’ Price said of the American rookie who made it through 2011 q-school and went on to beat Australia’s Robert Allenby in a play-off to win the tour event in Mexico.
‘‘There is a little bit of pressure and obviously this is my last chance to get to the PGA Tour this way.’’
Rod Pampling and Nick O’Hern have free passes to the final stage. AAP