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Opportunity knocks for Aussies in Germany

Nathan Holman - looking for a return to the sort of form that saw him win the 2015 Australian PGA Championship (Photo: Bruce Young)
A depleted field thanks to last week’s Open Championship means several Australians have a good opportunity at this week’s Porsche European Open in Germany.

American Patrick Reed is the highest world ranked player in the field at 26, several Australians getting the call up from the Challenge Tour to fill the field at the Green Eagle Golf Course in Hamburg.

Reed and 2016 PGA winner Jimmy Walker are the tournament’s main drawcards where seven Australians have gained a start.

Nathan Holman, who has endured a horror season in 2017, is the only European Tour regular teeing up with Ash Hall and Dimi Papadatos securing sponsor invites while Ryan McCarthy, Daniel Fox and Terry Pilkadaris all step up from the secondary circuit.

European Tour veteran Richard Green, who lost his card at the end of last season, is also playing as he attempts to get back to the Tour in 2018.

Holman is the most intriguing of the Australian prospects this week having last played at the BMW PGA event at Wentworth in May.

The 2015 Australian PGA champion withdrew form that event after six holes of the opening round for unknown reasons and hasn’t played a tournament since.

One of this country’s most promising players, Holman has found the going tough since his breakthrough victory at Royal Pines in 2015 and 2017 has been particularly trying.

In 10 starts since January he has made just one cut and hasn’t shot a competitive round in the 60’s since the end of 2016.

However, after almost eight weeks away from tournament golf it is to be hoped the Victorian has made progress and this is the ideal week to ease back into tournament play.

While Holman’s playing future is relatively secure thanks to his victory at Royal Pines the remaining Australians in the field will appreciate what a big opportunity they have been afforded this week.

Ryan McCarthy and Ash Hall both come to Germany having missed the cut at last week’s Open but both will be better for the run at the elite level.

It will also be a step up in class for Daniel Fox who is playing his rookie season on the Challenge Tour at the age of 40.

The likeable West Australian has found the going tough in 2017 but comes to Germany off the back of his best performance of the season, a T20 last week in France.


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