THE last time the Australian Open was played at Sydney's The Australian Golf Club, in 2007, Ewan Porter had a putt for the clubhouse lead at the end of his final round.
This time he can't even score an invite.
And that's despite some hot golf at the NSW Open this week, where he made 20 birdies and two eagles in his four-round total of six-under 282.
Porter was excited about the opportunities he created and the golf he played, but disappointed he couldn't play the Masters at Metropolitan or more specifically the Open at The Australian on an invitation.
"The frustrating thing for me is I don't know where I am playing next," Porter lamented.
"I hoped to receive invites into the Masters and the Australian Open and I didn't get them.
"I understand that there are so many people that request invitations that it's very difficult and you have to turn people down, but the last Australian Open that was at The Australian I had a chance to win on the final hole.
"And having done well in Australian Opens and being at a course I played a lot growing up... it would have been nice to lock it in on my schedule.
Porter has a top-10 at the Australian Open and won on the Web.com tour in 2010.
That tournament, the South Georgia Classic saw him defeat PGA Tour regulars Kyle Stanley and Gary Woodland as well as 2000 PGA Championship runner-up Bob May and 2011 PGA champion Keegan Bradley.
Porter expects he will go to the qualifying for the Australian Open with some confidence after shooting his low round of the tournament, a five-under 67, which doubled as the best round of the final day of the NSW Open.
"My play was far beyond my expectations," Porter said.
"I just threw in too many mistakes and the majority of my mistakes came from mental errors.
Having admitted to falling out of love with the sport in the most spectacular fashion before his 18-month sabbatical and journey to discover the world's best craft beers, it's definitely a refreshing sight to see Porter so passionate about his golf again.
"I enjoyed it this week," Porter said.
"I had a good friend caddying for me and knew a few people out there and I have that natural competitive fire in the belly.
"Golf is still a passion of mine and it is what I do well."
What sort of schedule his future holds remains up in the air, but the 32-year-old insists it will involve more golf.
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