Play, eat, sleep and repeat.
That’s the routine Queensland’s Anthony Quayle is set to embark on for the next 15 weeks as he chases lofty goals on both the PGA Tour of Australasia and Japan Golf Tour.
Runner-up at the Fiji International three weeks ago, Quayle played in the one-day Sanctuary Cove Shootout on the Gold Coast but skipped the Northern Territory PGA Championship won by Order of Merit frontrunner Daniel Nisbet.
Given the schedule the 23-year-old has ahead of him starting this week at the RIZAP KBC Augusta tournament in Fukuoka, it could be the smartest decision he makes all year.
Currently ranked 26th on the Japan Golf Tour Order of Merit, Quayle has the possibility of playing the next six weeks straight and 13 out of the next 15, culminating with the Australian Open and Australian PGA Championships in late November/early December.
His Sunday 63 at Natadola Bay elevated Quayle to second behind Gaganjeet Bhullar at the Fiji International and into second on the Australasian Order of Merit, necessitating a rethink to how the back-end of the year would look.
“I’ve got a few things I’ve got to juggle. I’ll probably end up playing 12 or 13 events in 15 weeks,” Quayle said.
“To be honest, I haven’t played that many in a row before because you just don’t get a stretch like that in amateur golf. It will be interesting to see how the body handles it.
“I don’t really want to play more than three or four in a row because if you’re in contention you do burn out a lot quicker. I try my best to manage myself as best I can. Eat well, still try and go to the gym, try to sleep well and come home whenever I have some time off.”
There are 14 events remaining on the Japan schedule for 2018 with the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament clashing with the Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club and the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup falling the same week as the PGA at RACV Royal Pines.
After Nisbet’s win last week at Palmerston Golf Course, Quayle is now $27,977 behind in second spot and knows the opportunities available for the person that ends the PGA atop the local Order of Merit.
“I’ll play the Aussie Open and Aussie PGA, but I probably won’t play any of the other events because they clash with big events in Japan and I still want to finish as high as I can on that Order of Merit,” said Quayle.
“We set our goal to try to win the Order of Merit this year on the Australian tour and try to finish as high up as we can on the Japan Tour. I think we set a goal of top-10 and I’m currently 26th, so I’ll have to play pretty well coming in.
“It is tricky to get the balance right and you have to play better because you’re not playing as many tournaments, but I think if I play well enough in the ones that I do play I can do it.
“If you win the Australasian Order of Merit you get some sort of European Tour status and you also get a couple of WGC events and you might get a Major or two, a couple of [US] PGA Tour events. There are just a few doors that open up then also the value that it adds to your profile with contracts and things like that.”
Not only did Quayle produce the round of the day when it mattered most in Fiji, he did so in the company of Ernie Els, which was a confidence boost in itself.
“I certainly took away a bit of confidence playing with Ernie and being in contention and being able to play that well in front of him,” he said. It was quite surreal to play with him actually but I handled it pretty well in the end.
“I found out the night before and tried not to think about it too much and the next day I tried to treat Ernie just as another professional golfer I was trying to get to know out there. Treat him as a peer rather than an idol, which I did a pretty good job of.
“There was one point on the back nine where I made a birdie and I looked up and it was like he was looking straight into my eyes and said, ‘Nice birdie.’ I was like, Holy shit, Ernie Els just said ‘nice birdie’. I had a bit of a heart flutter then and had to calm myself down.”
Other Aussies teeing it up at Keya Golf Club this week are Scott Strange, Aaron Townsend, Brendan Jones, Matthew Griffin, David Bransdon and Won Joon Lee along with New Zealand’s Michael Hendry.