Date: August 12, 2014
Author: Courtesy: Newcastle Herald

Green heading home from US Tour

The article first appeared in the Newcastle Herald

US PGA Tour winner Nathan Green is returning home to Newcastle.

The 39-year-old has spent the past decade in the US, competing on the PGA and (second tier) tours.

He climbed inside the world top 50 in 2006 and won the Canadian Open in 2009 – his lone PGA victory – but has struggled since to recapture that form.

A brilliant putter at his best, Green has struggled for confidence, which has flowed on to his short game.

The stocky right-hander is 106th on the money list after 11 events and believes the time is right for a change in career course.

He, wife Michelle and sons Taylor, 3, and Jesse, 1, have begun packing up the family home in Dallas in readiness to return to Australia in October.

"I still love playing and competing but not being competitive isn't much fun and you burn through the cash pretty quickly playing on the tour," Green told the Herald yesterday.

"I'm not closing the door on the US totally but for now it just seems like the right decision.

"We love living in Dallas but are happy to head home and have the kids grow up around their grandparents and family."

Green said his decision was based on a number of factors.

"Struggling with the being away from the family is the main reason, but I haven't been that competitive the last few years," he said.

"Certainly my priorities have changed on weeks off, and I haven't been playing or practising enough to get my game back to where it needs to be."

Green will play the Australasian tour, starting with the $2 million Perth International from October 23.

The Perth event, which is co-sanctioned with the European Tour, begins a big two months.

The Australian Masters is at The Metropolitan course in Melbourne (November 20-23), followed by the Australian Open at The Australian in Sydney (November 27-30) and Australian PGA at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast (December 11-14).

Green is likely to be based at Toronto, where brother Darren is the professional.

"We are coming back mid-October and I will play the Australian season starting with the Perth International," Green said.

"I probably won't look at Asia just yet, maybe Japan the following year.

"It depends how much passion I have to play but I'm not interested in long spells away from home."

After turning pro in 1998, Green grabbed headlines in 2001 when he pocketed $500,000 for a hole in one at the Australian Masters, bankrolling a tilt at the US.

Having failed to gain his PGA Tour card through qualifying school, Green competed on the second-tier Nationwide Tour (now in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

He ended the 2005 season 18th on the money list, which earned promotion to the PGA Tour, where he spent eight years amassing $6,856,595 in earnings.

The 2009 Canadian Open remains a career highlight when he took down South African Retief Goosen in a playoff at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Ontario.

In eight major appearances Green's best finish has been 23rd in the US PGA in 2007, however he did mark his debut at the 2010 US Masters with a hole in one at the 16th – the 12th ace at the hole in Masters history.

Green's victory in Canada earned a two-year PGA Tour exemption. At its completion in 2011, he regained his card through Q School, but only finished 163rd on the 2012 money list.

He split the 2013 season between the PGA Tour and Tour.

In his current campaign, he has one top-10 finish – equal third at the El Bosque Mexico Championship in April – and has missed eight of 11 cuts.