New Zealand’s Nick Voke began his professional career at World Number 1,932, he’ll play the AVJennings NSW Open at Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club this week ranked World Number 257 and a big chance of taking out his first title on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia.
It’s another example of a meteoritic rise of a young professional beginning on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia in 2018 and lighting up the international scene to secure a card on a Tour around the world.
Dimi Papadatos was a winner on the Challenge Tour, Anthony Quayle has secured status on the Japan Golf Tour and of course, Lucas Herbert has been banging on the door of a European Tour title while Cameron Davis and Curtis Luck are now officially PGA TOUR professionals for the 2018/2019 season.
Iowa based Voke set his sights on climbing into the World’s top-500 ranked golfers and securing any kind of status on the Web.com Tour, he has smashed both goals climbing over 1,600 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking and wrapping up a Web.com card through a spectacular few weeks on the PGA TOUR Series – China.
“It’s not a bad start,” a humble Voke said at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club today.
“We set out at the start of the year to be top-500 in the world and have some sort of Web.com status so we can safely tick off those two and there are a couple more events here in Australia so we’ll try to climb even further.”
Four years in the Iowa State University collegiate golf program showed enough positive signs in both Voke’s game and personal development to set the lofty goals and with a healthy support team behind him, Voke makes a point of using ‘we’ and ‘us’ when speaking on his career, he’s looking forward to the next stage of his burgeoning professional life.
“My last four years at Iowa State I was trending nicely and we knew if we kept doing the right things and my support team is in place, my processes are there so everything’s in place for us to keep learning and developing.
“I turned pro ranked in the 1900’s now I’m at 260 odd so it’s heading in the right direction and I’m excited to see where it continues.”
A quick look at Voke’s professional results to date in 2018 read incredibly well for a first year professional, missing only one cut in 15 events, what that doesn’t show are the hard yards of driving across the country attempting to pre-qualify into Web.com Tour events.
“It was a big grind, golf’s a funny game, you can go through phases where results and things aren’t going your way but you’re putting in a lot of work, it’s almost like you’re at a bus stop waiting for a bus,” added Voke.
“You can be doing all the right things and get into the right position and be in the right place but the buses just don’t come.
“Then all of a sudden two or three come at once, it’s a real funny game like that and I’ve definitely had that experience this year.”
Voke’s bus well and truly arrived after he received an invitation to play in the Suzhou Championship on the PGA TOUR Series – China, he finished fourth that week before going on to win three times and finish second on the tour’s Order of Merit. All of which ]secured his Web.com Tour card.
“I think that was a combination of being ready to go at the right time and being given the opportunity as well. I’m just a product of my support team and we’re just very fortunate and blessed we got given that opportunity and we took full advantage.”
Now back in Australia for this week’s AVJennings NSW Open and Emirates Australian Open, Voke said he’s well prepared after his whirlwind few weeks through Asia before it’s back to the States for the final stage of Web.com Tour Qualifying School to improve his status.
“We’re not certain what starts we’ll get on the Web.com Tour so I’m heading over to final stage qualifying school just to put myself in the best position I can,” added Voke.
“I’m ready to go, I’ve had a nice couple of weeks off back in my base in Iowa and I’m feeling fresh.
“It was a long seven weeks in Asia and it can beat you up a bit. I’m probably a little on the rusty side but I’m excited to get out there and see what I can do. The course this week looks awesome, I’m excited to get out there and hit some golf shots.”
The AVJennings NSW Open will be played at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club from 8 – 11 November.
In addition to the winner’s share of the $400,000 prize purse, the champion will receive Official World Golf Ranking Points and be fully exempt onto the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia until the end of the 2020 season.