38 | NZ Golf Magazine | July 2019 “After my last three weeks of competition, I was only able to play two tournaments and was unable to tee it up in the third event, after my back seized up on me. While I couldn’t swing a club, it has given me time to reflect on what is going well and what I need to improve on. The keys are that I have an awesome support crew around me, led by my coach, Jay Carter. These guys really do put 110% of their energy into me and I am hoping to put it together for them so we can “all” enjoy some success. I want to make sure that I am pushing myself to the limits and I know that I am out working my competitors, whether it is in the gym, on the practice fairway or out on the course. I have the passion, desire and work ethic to get on to the “big” PGA Tour; closing the gaps between me and the best players in the world is the goal.“ “In my amateur days, I was fortunate to play with some very good golfers. Most have gone on to win on the PGA Tour such as Bryson DeChambeau, Ollie Schniederjans, Aaron Wise, Scottie Scheffler (recent web.com winner), Rhein Gibson and Cam Smith - who I believe has the best short game anywhere in the world! I have a lot of fun with many other local Kiwi Pros and I always learn a lot when I play with Peter “Chook” Fowler- he also has some great stories!” When asked about his favourite golf destination, Luke was pretty forthcoming. “When I think of my favourite golf destinations, I love the “raw” golf courses that are natural and have history. I just love the golf courses around the UK with Royal Portrush being one of my favourites. The sandbelt golf courses of Melbourne are also awesome to play. However, as a destination to visit, I really enjoy Japan – the people, the culture, scenery. Wow – what a great country!” “Of course the tournament I would most like to play again is the NZ Open. I was extremely humbled to get the last sponsor invitee spot at this year’s event. It was such a great week and I met so many awesome people. But I put too much pressure on myself and pushed too hard. I would love to enjoy the week a little more and just play more relaxed, as I think I have the game to play really well there! Fingers crossed, next year I hope to make the tournament field through ranking rather than requiring a sponsors invite!” We wish Luke all the best in his efforts to achieve his goals. “The most important lesson I have learned this year is just how good you have to be! How good you have to be to compete week in and week out. When you see the best players in the world, it really is unfathomable how good they really are. It is about putting 72-holes together, and not just 18-holes. It is then about playing and being in- control and minimising your errors. I have become more stats focused; I look at Tiger Woods’ “approach to green” stats as the benchmark for where I need to get my game! This is the area I am really working to improve!” ↑ (T-B) Par 3, 16th hole 'Calamity Corner' on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Portrush, Northern Ireland. Luke Toomey in action at the 2019 SEC NZPGA Championship. FEATURE