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 Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

    Getty Images

    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

    Getty Images

    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

    Getty Images

    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”