War veteran talks about life on the pro golf circuit
DAMIEN Jordan, an Iraq war veteran who has settled into life as a professional golfer on the Tweed, won the biggest tournament of his career earlier this week in the Philippines.
The Coolangatta and Tweed Heads Golf Club member took home $17,500 USD at the Aboitiz Invitational, a Phillippine Golf Tour Asia event, winning by four strokes thanks to a purple patch in the final round where he sunk four birdies in seven holes.
Jordan, 38, completed two tours of Iraq as a soldier in the Australian Army before deciding to turn his hand to professional golf almost a decade ago, and the last year has been a solid one since he made his Australian Open debut last November.
Back in the Tweed now, Jordan spoke to the Tweed Daily News about his big win, life on the tour and his preparation for a critical next few months on the Australasian PGA tour.
How do you feel after your big win in the Philippines?
It's fantastic. It's my first international win so I was pumped. I was playing well leading up to it so it feels good.
You took the lead in round one and never lost it. Was it difficult having the field gunning for you from early on?
I've done it before, winning wire-to-wire. It's hard to do but it is great when you do. It was a matter of staying patient.
Will you go back to play in the Philippines?
I've secured my card for next year and there is big end-of-season tournament early next year with a prize pool of $600k that I'll be heading back for.
How are you finding life on the professional circuit?
I'm absolutely loving it. The day I stop loving it will be the day I stop playing it.
And your form?
I was pro between 2009-2010 and turned pro again in 2014. I had a solid year last year winning the Victorian PGA and won quite a few pro-ams. 2018 has followed on and been really solid. I'm playing a lot better when I'm rested and I finished second in the Northern Territory PGA recently and had a third in the Philippines before victory last week.
The most recent win will obviously help, but how do you find supporting yourself financially as a pro golfer?
It can be really tough. At the moment I'm doing everything myself, and I'm looking for a big sponsor, which is really important. Right now I'm supported by Ladbrokes and Harcourts BMG.
You're a member of the Cooly/Tweed Golf Club, is that where you do most of your training?
I do most of my short game work out at Cooly/Tweed, and I do a lot of practise out at Chinderah Golf Club with my coach Ben Cronk.
Where will you be teeing off next?
I'll be playing the rest of the ISPS Australasian PGA Tour in October from the start of December.