Date: January 10, 2008

We chat to Nikki Garrett: Part I

When Nikki Garrett graduated to the Ladies European Tour at the end of 2005, even she could not have imagined the success that would come in her first two years after turning professional. The Central Coast starlet seemingly came from nowhere to make a name for herself as one of Australia&aposs most recognisable female golfers. In her debut season, Garrett took out LET Rookie of the Year honours and in her second, she won back-to-back events to firmly establish herself amongst the Tour&aposs players to watch. Despite the accolades and praise heaped upon the young Australian after her first year, Garrett said she did not feel any pressure from anyone to necessarily come out and get her first tournament win. “The only pressure that really came was from myself,” Garrett noted. “I put a lot more pressure on myself because I expected a lot more from myself after 06&apos. It was my main goal to get a win, but I didn&apost expect it to come so early!” Garrett&aposs debut win came at the Tenerife Ladies Open where her week started in slow and sluggish fashion. “I got onto the range in Tenerife and started hitting a few balls. I had actually just done a photo shoot in LA, so I hadn&apost played for about five or six days. I hit a few shots and thought this could be a long week – this is hideous! “But I worked extremely hard on the range for the next few days and even on the course I worked very hard. At the end of the week I started flushing it. I had so much confidence it was unbelievable!” While most players need to waits months or even years for a second victory, Garrett only had to wait a matter of days. Despite the fatigue and hangover of winning in Tenerife, Garrett backed up to win the Women&aposs Spanish Open at Mediterraneo Country Club. “I was just so tired,” Garrett said. “I only played a nine hole practice round and I couldn&apost do any more. Then I had a Pro Am and it was a totally different course to the one I had played the week before. You had to rely a lot more on your short game and play a lot of wedges in. “To win back to back was just amazing. The first week I felt like I really won it whereas the second week I felt like the other girl gave it to me. I held on and payed solid golf all day, capitalising on her mistakes.” Regardless of how she&aposd done it, Garrett had won back-to-back events, just as compatriot Karrie Webb had done the previous fortnight claiming the two LET sanctioned events in Australia. She was in illustrious company and after a stellar 2006, had proven she was the real deal.