Date: November 19, 2014
Author: Mark Hayes /

They�re good, but let�s give them time

e’s an enormous buzz around the boom amateurs at the Australian Masters this week … but it comes with a warning.

Golf Australia high performance director Brad James wants his charges not to get caught up in the hype.

Or for Australia’s golfing public to expect too much too soon from the likes of National Squad members Todd Sinnott, Lucas Herbert, Antonio Murdaca and 16-year-old Ryan Ruffels.

All four have been given huge praise at Metropolitan this week – and lumped into marquee groups to help them with their tournament education.

But James has warned that their best is still well down the track.

“There is a lot of hype and it’s nice to have positive publicity about the youth coming through in Australian golf,” he said.

“But at the same time we need to be sensitive to the fact that these kids are very young and very much in a development phase.

“All these opportunities they’re being provided have to be learned from and so they do not get to the stage where they’re comfortable that they’re in these situations.”

James said while their talent already stood them in good stead to compete, the lessons they soak up this week and at next week’s Emirates Australian Open were more important in the long term.

“Any time you get an opportunity to play in an event of this calibre, it’s an opportunity to collect data and feedback about how it can make you better in the long run – whether you have success or whether you fail,” he said.

“You can evaluate the publicity however you want, but it’s important how we look at the positive publicity.

“Sometimes if you take too much of that on, when there’s negative publicity down the track, you tend to take too much of that on, too, when really you’re tracking along pretty well.”

“You’ve got to learn to look at both as data and move on from and look at how you can use that information while you’re competing.

“The experiences the players and their service teams gain from these tournaments is a way to figure out ways to get better in the future.

“And that’s what we’re really working towards.”

Melbourne’s Tom Power-Horan is also in the field Masters field this week, but he’s not in the National Squad.

Power-Horan, a member at nearby Cheltenham, is in the last group off the first tee in the AM draw tomorrow.

Ruffels will play with Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy in the morning’s feature group.

Sinnott will play alongside US PGA Tour winners Boo Weekley and Steve Bowditch in the afternoon.

His group will be followed by Murdaca with Stuart Appleby and Kyle Stanley, while Herbert will play with Robert Allenby and Jarrod Lyle straight after them.