Andrew Dodt: Exploring His Options

During the last two years Andrew Dodt has enjoyed a solid season on the Asian Tour. In his rookie year, the 23-year-old recorded six top-10 finishes, which included a runner-up result at the Vietnam Masters where he lost in a play-off. This season in Asia, Dodt's biggest result came at the Barclays Singapore Open with a top-10 finish against arguably one of the strongest fields assembled for the season in Asia. The Queenslander banked US$94,1000 for his efforts and currently sits 14th on the Asian Tour Money List with close to US$197,000 from 15 events. Dodt's consistency is marked by his 12 cuts from 15 starts this season, which has given him more choices as to when and where he gets to play. "It's being a solid season," says Dodt who, as an amateur, won the 2007 Australian Stroke Play Championship. "My game is ready to move to the next stage. During the last two years in Asia, I've learned how to prepare for golf tournaments and get use to life on the road. Ideally, I'd like to be playing in the US within the next few years, so I'm giving PGA Tour School a crack." Dodt is currently at second stage of the PGA Tour School and knows he has to break through to the all important third stage to have any chance of obtaining playing right next season in the US. For many players PGA Q-School is often seen as the "make or break" period of their career. Dodt, however, is taking it all in his stride. "You see some guys out there and they are taking it so seriously," says Dodt. "The trick is you just have to treat it like any other week and don't try and over prepare for it. Even if I do not get through second stage, there are lots of other opportunities for me back in Australian and Asia." Dodt picked up a golf club when he was four, influenced by his father, who still plays at Gatton Golf Club, west of Brisbane. As an amateur he secured four main titles, the 2007 Australian Stroke Play Championship, 2007 Keperra Bowl, 2007 Asia Pacific Nomura Cup and was the 2006 Malaysian Amateur Champion. Progression to the paid ranks towards the end of 2007 seemed only natural, yet Dodt appreciates the enormity of the move. "To be honest, in the beginning there were times where I struggled to believe in myself," he says. "My mental game is a lot stronger than what it used to be when I was an amateur. You have to believe in yourself as a professional and that you can actually take your game to the next level. That's probably the biggest difference with my game right now." If Dodt does not make it through to the third stage of PGA Q-School in Florida, he has other options available. "I have many more years to make it to the US," he says. "Should I miss, then I'll come back to Australia and play the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship. I've retained my Asian Tour status and with OneAsia Series next year, there are plenty of opportunities out there for me in that region." For any emerging player having options is a wonderful thing. In Dodt's case, he is currently exploring his options, and is mindful that PGA Q-School is not the make it or break it event. When you continue to be consistent on any tour, the playing privilege options that come with that success must be a wonderful feeling to have.

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