Connor Fewkes will be almost 3,000km from home when he tees up at the Emirates Australian Open on Thursday at The Lakes Golf Course, all the while fulfilling a childhood dream in the process.
The Kalgoorlie left-hander has been gifted a start in the Sydney-based event on account of winning the Australian Junior Championships back in May, completing a career-best season for the Western Australian Junior State Team captain.
Despite the continual success and dream run so far, Fewkes will need to shake off some pre-tournament nerves before he reaches the first tee box later in the week.
“I am very excited,” Fewkes beamed.
“There has been a few sleepless nights the last couple of days but hopefully that eases off.”
Adding to the surreal experience was a practice round with one of Fewkes’ all-time heroes, a PGA Tour winner and former champion of the event.
“I got to play with Greg Chalmers yesterday and the night before I was that excited,” Fewkes claimed.
“A lot of the guys in Kalgoorlie grew up with him, so that’s how I was able to organise a practice round. He was great to go around with and we really just picked his brains.”
“It’s been a pretty cool week so far.”
Fewkes at the Australian Junior earlier in the year
Fewkes’ arrival to this point in his career has been like few others, battling the constant travel just to make state team commitments in Perth, not that it bothers the 18-year-old.
“When you drive 6.5 hours for state training, stay in Perth overnight and drive back the next morning, it can get taxing,” he said.
“Where I’m from in Kalgoorlie we have an unbelievable golf course, it’s a big advantage I believe. The Lakes will play fairly similar to the one back home.”
The leading Amateur will head into his third professional tournament in as many weeks with plenty of support, leaning on friends and family to get him through the thrilling experience.
“I’ve got a lot of people behind me at home, I am so happy to have that support,” he mentioned.
“I have someone from Kalgoorlie coming to watch for the week, my family has come too. I’ve had plenty of messages of support and I’m sure there will be more before the week is out.”
Whatever happens during the week, Fewkes will reflect on fond memories as he takes in everything the tournament has to offer, maintaining that “it’s just another round of golf”.
“It’s definitely hard (containing nerves)” he claimed.
“Craig (Bishop) has taught me it’s just another golf event, it’s just another week.”
“Go and play golf, at the end of the day that’s all you can do. You play four rounds and sign your card, outside of that there may be a few more things, but you just can’t make it any bigger than it is.”
Catch all the action at the Emirates Australian Open on Channel 7 beginning on Thursday. Fewkes will tee up alongside WA Open Champion Zach Murray during Round 1.