It’s been a whirlwind four months for Emirates Australian Open champion Cameron Davis, but he arrives in Queenstown ready to play the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open for the first time.
Turning professional in October 2016, it took Sydneysider Davis just 13 months to record his first professional victory and on one of Australia’s biggest stages..
Winning his national championship proved to Davis that he had the game to compete with the world’s best with Jordan Spieth and Jason Day both left in his wake.
“It feels like it was almost still a bit of a dream, it's kind of hard to tell myself that I've done it,” Davis said in Queenstown today.
“It was so long ago now it feels like another person played that week because I was in the zone for at least two of those rounds and I don't really have too much recollection of them.
“But it is cool having a tournament like that to be able to look back on and tell yourself you can do it.”
Davis, though, is searching for his second win to continue building his confidence and this week presents a good opportunity.
“Since then I've just kept moving on to the next week, still trying to improve and trying not to get caught up in the fact that I've had one good week.
“I'm trying to prove to myself that I've still got it in me to do it. That was my first full year as a pro. I want to be able to keep improving and keep getting better.
“I'm looking forward to getting to that next tournament where things fall together and seeing if I can pull it off down the stretch again.”
Having played Millbrook Resort and The Hills, Davis likes what he sees and anticipates needing four low rounds to win the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open.
“This scenery is probably the most spectacular setting I've played in, it's amazing,” he said.
“I've played nine holes out at Millbook and I've played The Hills this morning so I've still got another nine holes to look at, but so far everything I have seen has been pretty amazing.
“The course is playing quite soft but I feel like I'm playing well and I'm hitting the ball all right,” added Davis, who is busy devising his game plan for the courses.
“The courses definitely suit being able to hit the ball in a decent area off the tee, to like 240 metres. If I can hit an iron to that spot, then I feel I can hit a lot of fairways.
“But if you’re aggressive with the driver and get out to 280, 290 metres off the tee then it gives you a lot of opportunities to make birdie with a lot of short irons in.
“I've got a feeling the scores are going to be quite low, if you're going to win out here you probably going to need to shoot in the 20s under par.
“I can't say I've done that before, so I need to really pull it all out and play some really good golf.”
Already with status on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, a win this week would open the door to the Asian Tour for Davis who has been focusing on playing in the United States.
“I think every tournament I can get a start in is important this year, at the moment I'm still relying on invites.
“If I can have some really solid starts set well in advance so I can actually plan a schedule would be great. But you have to just keep your eyes on the prize and worry about that after you've had a good week.
“So I'm trying to make sure I focus on what the job is this week and then after just see what happens.”
The ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open will be played at Millbrook Golf Resort and The Hills from 1-4 March.
Davis begins his campaign at The Hills at 8.14am (local time) on Thursday playing alongside Lucas Herbert.