By Evin Priest – US PGA Tour editor
Australian youngster Grant Booth is putting the finishing touches on preparation ahead of his US PGA Tour debut at next week’s Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada.
The 22-year-old has flown under the radar relative to other star amateurs based in Australia, but don’t worry – he was been busy building a stellar resume in the US at the University of Nevada before turning pro earlier this month.
Get to know the western Sydney native with these facts.
1. He hails from Blacktown, western Sydney:
Not your typical breeding ground for elite golfers, Booth is a native of Blacktown in western Sydney. He studied at Mitchell High School shortly before heading over to the US as an 18-year-old to attend college on a golf scholarship. He is a member at The Australian Golf Club.
2. He is statistically the best golfer to ever come through the Uni of Nevada:
Despite the fact former US PGA Tour players Kirk Triplett, Michael Allen and Charlie Wi are ex Wolfpack team members, Booth set Nevada’s single-season scoring record (71.64) last year before smashing it by a stroke in his final season this year. He also earned Nevada’s career scoring record (71.86) and guided the Wolfpack to its first NCAA Regional championship appearance since 2007.
“It’s been amazing to watch him grow,” Nevada coach Jacob Wilner said. “I’ve known him for about six years now since I first started the recruiting process when I saw him in San Diego and to watch him grow and see him mature, he’s really meant everything to our program. He’s been out rock for four years and has gotten better every year.
“Statistically he’s the best player to come through here.”
3. He is coached by renowned instructor Gary Barter:
Booth comes from the stable of accomplished teacher Barter at The Australian Golf Club, having received lesson from him since the age of 15. Barter’s crop also includes US PGA Tour winner and 2015 Australian Open champion Matt Jones. Booth credits Barter’s methods for his success at the American collegiate level.
4. He will make his US PGA Tour debut at the Barracuda Championship:
Booth couldn’t have planned his debut on golf’s most lucrative circuit any better. He will first tee up at a PGA Tour event at the Barracuda Championship at Montreux Golf and Country Club next week, a 20-minute drive from the Uni of Nevada. Why is that significant? Booth has spent the past four years caddying at Montreux in his spare time and knows every square metre of the high-altitude layout like the back of his hand (it sits 5,500 feet above sea level). The Barracuda is also a modified stableford event, meaning he can afford to be more aggressive. Australians Greg Chalmers (2016) and Geoff Ogilvy (2014) are past champions of the Barracuda.
5. He is mentored by Jones and managed by former NRL star Braith Anasta
Booth paid tribute to fellow The Australian GC member and close friend Jones for easing him into the American golf system. “‘Jonesy’ is just a great guy who enjoys helping other people out,” Booth says. “He has taken me under his wing and to a few PGA Tour events to meet the players and see how they go about their business at tournaments.”
Booth is managed by Anasta, who sees a lot of potential in the youngster. “One thing that impresses me about young athletes is the confidence to take risks and back themselves,” Anasta says. “Grant moved overseas at a young age, by himself, to play in the toughest amateur circuit in the world. If you look at the best professional golfers around the world, a lot of them have come through the American college system. Grant now has a psychological advantage and self-belief that he can compete with these guys.”