TOUR Life The Diary of Nick Flanagan

By Nick FlanaganSeptember 18, 2007, 4:00 pm
Since I may be relatively new to many of you, we'll start with a basic introduction:
 
I am Nick Flanagan. I'm from Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. I am 23 years old. My dad, Wayne, is a coalminer; my mum, Jenny, is the homemaker; and my elder brother, Luke, is currently in Canada on a working holiday. I am the 2003 U.S. Amateur champion, a three-time winner on the Nationwide Tour this year and now a member of the PGA TOUR.
 
Nick Flanagan
Thanks to three poses like this, Nick Flanagan got an early pass to the PGA TOUR. (Wire Image)
Even writing it, that last bit sounds unbelievable ... but it makes me feel very proud.
 
That's me in a nutshell, but, of course, there's plenty more underneath the shell.
 
It hasnt been an easy road since I turned professional in 2004, but throughout it all I have had a great support team (my family, friends, coach and manager) beside me. They are the people who believed in me no matter what and encouraged and supported me without hesitation. The success I have had this year is as much theirs as it is mine.
 
Looking back on the past three years I realize I needed that time to learn about myself and exactly what it takes to compete at the top level. Hopefully all the ups and downs, and highs and lows I have experienced have made me ready for this new stage in my career -- this TOUR Life -- and I cant wait to get to the first tee on Thursday.
 
My year on the Nationwide Tour has been amazing. I had joked late last year to my caddy that I could win three times this year, but to actually do it is surreal. I dont think people realize how tough the competition is on the Nationwide Tour and that there are so many great golfers on that tour. To win three times against them you have to have a certain amount of luck go your way and it could just as easy to have been one of them as it is me. But Ill take it, no problem!
 
I learned a lot from last year on the road and I reassessed my scheduling this year. Apparently, I have found the right formula that works for me. I have found a way to keep fresh and not wear my body out, which is to play no more than three or four events in a row. As it has worked so well for me so far, I will maintain the same formula through the Fall Series on the PGA TOUR.
 
I intend on playing the first three events, having a week off, and then playing the next two which leads into the Childrens Miracle Network Classic. But that PGA TOUR event is up against the Nationwide Tour Championship, and while I would really love to play both events, I am leaning towards the Nationwide Tour Championship, so I can finish my year off amongst the many friends I have made there -- and have one last chance at the No.1 position on the money list.
 
Nick Flanagan
Nick received a new BMW X5 for his win at the BMW Charity Pro-Am. (Wire Image)
My goal for 2008 is to work my way into the top 50 on the world rankings and everything else from there will hopefully take care of itself. I look at the next seven weeks as a time when I have a free run. Since I have no pressure to make the allotted number for my card, I can use it as a time to learn about the differences between the Nationwide Tour and the PGA TOUR and become acquainted with the new surroundings, which should make my debut next year that much easier. If I do that, then hopefully I can perform well enough to make a progression up the world rankings and earn a little of extra cash for Christmas.
 
I have been at home in Australia for just over two weeks. I love going home as much as possible. I had the chance to catch up with everyone and have a little R and R. There was a lot of media attention and I was the special guest of the Australasian PGA Tour at the launch of their summer of golf.
 
I began my preparation for my first event practicing at my home club of Concord in Sydney. This is the equivalent of a private country club here in the States. They invited me to play in the members competition on the Wednesday and invited everyone to stay on for congratulatory drinks and nibbles afterwards. It was great to revisit a place that I spent a great deal of time at during my amateur days and somewhere that gave me so many opportunities to develop my game.
 
I returned to the States on Friday and flew straight to Orlando where I met up with my coach, Steve Bann. Steve also coaches Stuart Appleby and I spent the weekend staying at Stuarts house and practicing at Isleworth.
 
Now I'm in New York for the Turning Stone event, to begin my new TOUR Life.
 
Please follow along over the next seven weeks as I will provide a diary each Tuesday documenting my previous week on TOUR.
 
Email your thoughts to Nick
 
Related Links:
  • Nick Flanagan's 2007 Results
  • Full Coverage - Turning Stone Championship
  • Fall Series Coverage
  • Getty Images

    The Social: G.O.A.T., after G.O.A.T., after G.O.A.T.

    By Jason CrookJanuary 23, 2018, 6:00 pm

    Tom Brady compares himself to Tiger Woods, who coincidentally is returning to the PGA Tour this week, Jordan Spieth hangs out with some decent company and kids these days ruffle some feathers with their friendships.

    All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

    Well, it’s finally Farmers Insurance Open week and Woods has been spotted practicing for his official return to the PGA Tour on Thursday.

    Some thought this day might never come after a 2017 filled with mostly downs for the 14-time major champ.

    But as he has taught the golf world time and time again, you just can't count Tiger out.

    So even as Jon Rahm attempts to overtake Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world this week at Torrey Pines, all eyes will be on one of the greatest we've ever seen do it, even if that guy is ranked No. 647 in the world.

    Speaking of greatness …

    There’s not many who can just offhandedly compare themselves to Tiger, but if anyone gets a pass, it’s Tom Brady.

    The 40-year-old New England Patriots quarterback led his team back to the Super Bowl for the second straight year despite playing the AFC title game with a cut on his throwing hand.

    When asked about it after the Patriots come-from-behind victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady answered, “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”

    So there you have it. A 40-year-old Brady is winning AFC Championships with his C game. Good luck, Eagles; you’re going to need it.

    Also, if for some reason you wanted an update on Justin Thomas' life, it's still awesome:

    Yeah, that's last year's PGA Tour Player of the Year hanging with Cy Young winner Cory Kluber in a suite at the Patriots game and teasing us with a possible #SB2K18 cameo.

    Curtis Strange likes his competitive golf straight up, hold the friendliness.

    This, according to Curtis Strange.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ took to Twitter during the CareerBuilder Challenge to vent his frustration regarding the constant chit-chat and friendliness between Rahm and Andrew Landry:

    This, of course, makes sense in theory. But good luck watching golf – or really any sport – from here on out. Sure there will be a few old school guys who buck the trend here and there, but for the most part, it’s really hard to share a private jet/dinners/vacations/(insert awesome thing here) with someone, and then completely turn off the friendship coming down the stretch of a big tournament.

    Damn millennials. They ruin everything.

    By now you've all seen that poor Philadelphia Eagles fan who lost his battle with a subway station pillar (from multiple angles), so instead here is a video of a man attempting to stand on an egg. Bet you can't guess how that goes.

    Tony's gonna stand on an egg

    A post shared by theCHIVE (@thechive) on

    Seriously if you haven't seen the video of that Eagles fan, here's your last chance in this column. You'll be glad you did.

    Jordan Spieth, Michael Phelps and Bryce Harper walk on to a golf course … there’s no punchline, that actually happened last week in Las Vegas.

    Was the whole thing just a big advertisement for Spieth’s new Under Armour shoe? You bet.

    But that doesn’t make the optics of three of the biggest superstar athletes on the planet teeing it up for a round any less awesome.

    Off to the next. #Spieth2 #TEAMUA

    A post shared by Under Armour Golf (@uagolf) on

    The trio has three major wins, five All Star Game appearances and 28 Olympic medals between them, and there they were over the weekend just fake laughing for the camera and driving around individual golf carts with their own personalized logos on them.

    Just guys being dudes. Nothing better than that.

    Matt Kuchar. Still good at golf. Still overly polite. This according to European Tour pro Eddie Pepperell who had the privilege of hitting on the range next to Kuuuuuch in Abu Dhabi last week.

    That image is burned into your brain forever now, thanks Eddie. From now on when you think of Kuchar you're going to think of those Sketches ads and "oopsies."

    Which, I suppose is better than a, "Did you get that?"

    Blayne Barber's caddie, Cory Gilmer, collapsed and hit his head while at a restaurant at the Sony Open and has been mostly unconscious in the neurological intensive care unit ever since.

    The outpouring of love and support from the golf community has been overwhelming on social media, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the mounting medical costs for Gilmer and his family.

    Check out the link below for more info or to donate to a worthy cause:

    Getty Images

    Top-ranked amateur wins LAAC, earns Masters invite

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 5:38 pm

    Joaquin Niemann walked Augusta National Golf Club as a patron last year. He’ll be a competitor in 2018.

    Niemann, the top-ranked amateur in the world, shot 8-under 63 Tuesday at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Santiago, Chile, to win the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    And with the title, both redemption and an invitation to the Masters Tournament.


    Full-field scores from the Latin America Amateur Championship


    Niemann finished runner-up in last year’s LAAC to fellow Chilean Toto Gana. He followed Gana around Augusta grounds, watching as his best friend played two rounds before missing the cut.

    Niemann, who was going to turn professional had he not won this week, started the final round one back of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz. Niemann was sluggish from the start on Tuesday, but then drove the 313-yard, par-4 eighth and made the eagle putt. That sparked a run of five birdies over his next six holes.

    Niemann was bogey-free in the final round and finished five shots clear of Ortiz, at 11 under.

    Getty Images

    Judges Panel, Host Announced for Wilson Golf's "Driver vs. Driver 2," Premiering This Fall on Golf Channel

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 23, 2018, 4:15 pm

    ‘Driver vs. Driver 2 Presented by Wilson Currently in Production; Sports Broadcaster Melanie Collins Returns to Host

    Morning Drive: Driver vs. Driver 2 Judges Announced

    Golf Channel and Wilson Golf announced today the panel of judges and host for the second season of Driver vs. Driver, the innovative television series that follows aspiring golf equipment designers as they compete for the opportunity to have their driver idea or concept transformed into the next great golf driver from Wilson. The show is currently in production and will premiere this fall.

    Joining judge Tim Clarke, President of Wilson Golf, are two newcomers to the series: 9-time National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star and current NHL on NBC hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick – an avid golfer with a single digit handicap and a self-described golf equipment junkie; and PGA Professional, golf coach, equipment reviewer and social media influencer Rick Shiels.

    “Golf is a big passion of mine, and personally I enjoy learning about new equipment and concepts,” said Roenick. “To be able to see this side of the business in how equipment is developed first-hand is fascinating. Being a part of the process in reviewing driver concepts and narrowing them down to an ultimate winning driver that will be sold across the country is a tremendous honor.” 

    “Jeremy, as an avid golfer, and Rick, as a coach, equipment reviewer and golf professional, bring incredible, real world insights and different perspectives to the show and this process,” said Clarke. “I’m excited to work alongside these two judges to push the boundaries of innovation and bring a next-generation driver to golfers around the world.”

    Sports broadcaster Melanie Collins returns as the host of Driver vs. Driver 2. Currently a sideline reporter for CBS Sports’ college football and basketball coverage, Collins hosted the inaugural season in 2016 and formerly co-hosted Golf Channel’s competition series, Big Break.

    Production for Driver vs. Driver 2 began in the fall of 2017 and will continue through the summer, including this week at the PGA Merchandise Show. The series is being produced by Golf Channel, whose portfolio of original productions include interview series Feherty hosted by Emmy-nominated sports personality David Feherty, high-quality instruction shows School of Golf, Golf Channel Academy and Playing Lessons and a slate of award-winning films.

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: Farmers Insurance Open

    By Tiger TrackerJanuary 23, 2018, 4:00 pm

    Tiger Woods is competing in a full-field event for the first time in nearly a year. We're tracking him at this week's Farmers Insurance Open. (Note: Tweets read, in order, left to right)