Daniel Gaunt is a great golfer. We played a bit during the 90’s and roomed together during Tour School.
He was way better than me. In fact, he was better than most. He beat Aaron Baddeley consistently and had this incredible self belief. It seemed that real success was only just around the corner for him.
But it didn’t come right away. He struggled and thought about giving the game away. But he stuck with it. He stayed with the game and kept working at it.
A few years ago he shot the day’s best score at The Open Championship (despite being ranked outside the top 1000 in the world rankings) and made the cut. At the time I thought anyone that could do that certainly belongs on the big stage. He’s had a storming finish this year and has qualified for the 2011 European Tour.
Today he is battling it out for the Australian Masters. I watched him on Saturday and was mighty impressed. His game doesn’t seem to have changed much from what I remember. He’s got a great short game and still putts unbelievably well. He has got a unique style but certainly can hit all of the shots. I really hope he does well today – he certainly deserves it after years of frustration.
And Gaunt’s story should serve as inspiration. Sometimes it takes a while to really learn what golf is all about. It takes time to trust your game and believe that you’re good enough to play at your chosen level. Most of all, I think it proves that “your” way is better than anything else.
Good luck Gaunty!