26 Feb 2021 | Professional golf | Golf Australia |
Elvis enters professional building
by Mark Hayes
Elvis Smylie has been earmarked as a professional golfer in the making for years.
Today, in time for next week’s TPS in Sydney, the brilliant young Queenslander can finally give a definitive answer to a question he has been asked countless times.
“My goal has always been to be the best golfer in the world,” Smylie said.
“I couldn’t be more excited to take the next step on that journey and join the professional ranks.
“Now is absolutely the right time for me to make this jump – my game is in a great place and I’m full of confidence.
“I’ve had some amazing opportunities to take part in a number of pro events and I feel like I’ve proven to myself that I’m ready to play at that level.”
Those who have watched the sweet-swinging left-hander could only concur.
Still 18, he has twice won the storied Keperra Bowl, including his personal-best 62 to win this summer by a record 13 strokes.
He dominated on his home turf at Southport to win the Australian Junior crown in 2019 and was second in the Aaron Baddeley International in the United States as a 16-year-old.
But it’s in the pro ranks where Smylie has shown promise and – more importantly poise – that have many seasoned onlookers wide-eyed.
He was 33rd in the Australian Open against a host of Presidents Cup players in 2019, 24th in the 2020 Queensland Open, but critically showed his development when second to red-hot Brad Kennedy in the recent TPS event at Rosebud against the cream of the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia.
Golf Australia high performance manager Queensland Tony Meyer said Smylie was ready to take the next step.
“Elvis has shown repeatedly that he produces his best golf when it matters most,” Meyer said.
“His ongoing rise through the ranks is testament to his consistent hard work and dedication to the game, which was evident even when I first met him as a 13-year-old.”
For his part, Smylie is just raring to go for the next phase of his life - yet grateful for those who've helped him reach this critical point.
“I’ve been so fortunate to have been surrounded by and supported by some amazing people. Obviously my coach Ian Triggs, who has coached me since I was just eight years old. There’s no one better to help guide me, and he’s absolutely instrumental in all of my success to date,” Smylie said.
“Then there’s my parents. Not only have they sacrificed so much to make my dream a reality, but with their backgrounds in professional sports, they’ve taught me what it takes to perform at the highest level. They’ve enabled me to be around some of the best athletes in the world and I’ve learnt from all of them.
“I’d like to thank Golf Queensland, Golf Australia and the PGA of Australia for all of their support. I’ve been a part of the QAS for many years and it’s created an amazing platform for me to grow.
“I’ve loved being a member at Southport Golf Club. It’s been an ideal base for me throughout my amateur career. I’ve been fortunate to play junior pennant and pennant there for many years and have a great relationship with so many of the members. It will always be my second home.
“Finally, I’d like to thank Titleist and, in particular, Matt Dowling. They’ve been an amazing partner over the past few years and I’m looking forward to starting my professional career with the same clubs that have gotten me this far.
“I’m sure there are many I’m forgetting here as so many people have contributed to me getting to this point, but I promise I’ll thank you all in person when I can!”
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