Little-known Victorian Jack Wilson doesn’t even own an official Australasian PGA Tour card, but he might have something more valuable – a truckload of respect from Adam Scott.
The reigning US Masters champion says Wilson has the potential to become the next big thing in Australian golf after watching the 23-year-old produce a special performance in the PGA championship on the Gold Coast.
Wilson was the surprise challenger to eventual winner Scott and runner-up Rickie Fowler on Sunday, holding his nerve on the tense final day to finish third behind the two drawcards and ensure his name was not discarded as just another early dasher who couldn’t go the distance.
More than that, the trainee from Kingswood Golf Club in Melbourne’s sandbelt made a lasting impression on the country’s current golfing hero, Scott, who said Wilson showed enough skill and poise over the weekend to become “one of the next great players from Australia”.
Wilson played with a brash confidence that helped him produce solid rounds of 69 and 68 over the weekend, which actually trumped Scott’s final two rounds of 71 and 67, although he finished six shots behind the World No.2.
Still, for a man who went into the Australian PGA Championship with a career bank balance of $17,589, it is high praise considering it comes from Scott, a Major winner with career earnings of more than $40 million.
“This is a great week for him,” Scott said of Wilson.
“I hope he’s in the upcoming events because he certainly deserves it playing like that.
“This course really bared its teeth for us this week. I found it very difficult over the weekend to score.
“For him to come out and play the way he did today and try and get a number in the clubhouse, it should give him a lot of confidence.
“We might be looking at one of the next great players from Australia and I wish him the best for the summer. We should be encouraging guys like that to keep at it.”
Wilson’s fighting display on the Gold Coast has elevated him from a no-name among this week’s Australian Masters field to a player to watch when the tournament returns to Royal Melbourne.
Wilson flew into Melbourne on Monday and immediately jumped back on the tee for a celebrity golf invitational, while Scott and his green jacket parade is scheduled to arrive in Victoria on Tuesday before holding his official press conference at Royal Melbourne on Wednesday and playing in the Masters pro-am event.
The Australian Masters starts on Thursday, with one of the strongest ever fields assembled – topped by Scott, world No.8 Matt Kuchar, former world No.1 and three-time Major winner Vijay Singh and last month’s President’s Cup star Brendon de Jonge.
Australian stars Marc Leishman and Geoff Ogilvy will also take aim at the yellow jacket currently in the possession of Scott.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.