Dimi Papadatos was given a wake-up call last year.
Having secured conditional status on the European Tour, Papadatos struggled to keep pace with the depth of talented players on that circuit and returned home late in the year with his confidence shot and his world ranking tumbled.
But Papadatos has started working with a new coach in Richard Woodhouse and also on improving his mental approach – and it’s paying dividends.
The 25 year-old, who hails from the New South Wales Central Coast, fired an eight-under par round of 64 on the second morning of the Oates Vic Open to leap up the leaderboard and heads into the weekend 12-under.
Papadatos heads into the week tied for second with Victorian veteran David McKenzie, who had 20 putts in his round of 63 around the Creek course in the afternoon.
The pair trail Queensland’s Jake McLeod – who shot a new course record of 11-under par 61 around the Creek lay-out this morning – by a shot.
Papadatos fired nine birdies in his round with a bogey on the par-four fourth hole of the Creek course – the 14th of his round – the only blemish.
Papadatos admitted his game wasn’t ready for his stint in Europe last year.
“I’ve had some good results in Australia but going over there and playing in the main tour events, and even the Challenge Tour, there’s a lot of good players and I really struggled last year,” Papadatos said.
“I played average and it was against a lot stronger fields. So it was a good wake up call.
“I got beaten down for about five months over there and played terrible, cost me a lot of money but it was a good wake-up call that I needed.”
The 2014 New Zealand Open winner said he returned home and realised he needed to put a lot more preparation into his game and tournaments.
“I was working hard, but when you go over there and see the guys that are the next level, it was like `I’ve got nothing’ and it was just embarrassing standing next to them,” he said.
“It’s about attitude. I’ve been working with a guy who does neuro feedback. I just started with him before the (2016) Aussie Open, which was my first good result.
“He’s been helping me out a bit with my mental side. I don’t really get down, I get a bit of a hot head sometimes and lose focus very easy from doing that.
“Just coming up to some tournaments and not switching on and giving myself a free go. I just rock up and go through the motions and play bad and say `what happened’.
“When I’m playing well I can definitely get it going, but I just needed to get that consistency.
“I’ve done it about half a dozen times. I’ve played good in some big events so hopefully I can start getting a bit of momentum now and keep it going.”