In a Player Blog ahead of the Korea Championship Presented by Genesis, David Micheluzzi discusses his excitement at earning a DP World Tour card for next season, playing golf with plastic clubs as a toddler, following in the footsteps of fellow Australian golfers and his love of cars.
I started playing golf as soon as I started walking. Just with plastic clubs from grandparents and I loved hitting the ball around the house. My dad then took to me to the driving range when I was around three to four years old. I just kicked on from there and took up a junior membership at Cranbourne Golf Club where I am still a member to this day. It’s been a pretty cool journey.
I played different sports growing up but golf was always the one I did well in. It is an individual sport and I would much rather it be down to me. For example, if I was playing basketball I would want the winning shot. Because if I fail, I can learn from it. I always hoped golf would be a career for me. I turned professional in late 2019. This was really my second season out playing in Australia and I won the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit there and that gets me a category on the DP World Tour for the 2024 season.
It's really cool to be playing my first DP World Tour event since I earned my card for next year. It was a goal. I didn’t go to any Q Schools around the world. I just wanted to focus on the PGA Tour of Australasia because our season started in October when the Q Schools were just about starting and the season ends in March. There were 16 events lined up so I thought, ‘why not just stay here and play good golf’. I played exceptional golf and exceeded my expectations. To get one of the three DP World Tour cards on offer and to have some opportunities this year to potentially improve my category for next year will be an awesome experience. Also, it will be great to get to know everyone on the Tour for next year so that I don’t come in blind. I am really looking forward to it.
I arrived in Korea on Sunday night and have had Korean barbecue twice already. I haven’t had a chance to look around but from what I have seen the city is amazing. It’s a nice place to play and visit. I have played the course twice now in practice. It is a strong golf course. Off the tips it is quite brutal. I am just looking forward to see where my game is at compared to these guys. I played very well in Australia and got into the habit of being up there in contention. I just want to see if I can keep playing the same game how that looks out here, whether I need to improve or if it is already there. I am just looking forward to that challenge and playing out here with these guys.
I am glad that I go straight from the end of one season into tournaments around the world. The game is feeling good. I have had three weeks off since The National Tournament, the final event of the PGA Tour of Australasia season. I don’t feel like anything has changed. It’s now just getting used to the travel. Since Covid-19, I have only been overseas twice so getting accustomed to the jetlag is going to be hard to get used to again because I did a lot of travelling when I was an amateur. That will probably be the hardest part but also learning new courses as well. With most of the courses, they will be the first time I have played them. Now, I am just looking forward to it – it is going to be a lot of fun.
It was cool to see Lucas Herbert win his third DP World Tour title last week in Japan, he is a fellow Victorian as well. I got to know Geoff Ogilvy quite well just before Covid and throughout, playing quite a bit of golf with him. He started out on the DP World Tour as well. Brett Rumford also had some good success out here and a few of the other boys. It is very cool to hopefully follow in their footsteps.
Early on, when I started playing, Rory McIlroy was and still is one of my favourite players. When he burst onto the scene I think I was probably 13 or 14. But of late, Jon Rahm is the best player in the world so I have definitely got a few players that I look up to. I looked up to Geoff as well but now I feel like I can call him a mate so it is more like we are just friends now. They are the few guys that I looked up to.
I hadn’t really thought about making the Presidents Cup until someone mentioned it to me this week. If I play well then who knows. It is a Ryder Cup year this year so hopefully I can play some good golf this year and early next year and potentially get into that team. It would be an amazing opportunity especially considering the timeline when I was in Australia during Covid.
Australia and New Zealand were probably not the places to be during Covid if you wanted to travel! It put a pause on my game for a good year and a half. I then went to Q School in Australia in the middle of 2021 so it felt like my first season was in 2022 but I had been a professional for three years! We won’t count the Covid years though, so let’s say I have been a pro for two years.
My iron play has improved a lot over the last year or so. I feel like I used to hit it far but I didn’t feel like I hit it that far! I played with Nicolas Colsaerts earlier in practice and he made me look like a very short hitter! He has been hitting it miles for a long time but I feel like I keep it in play most of the time. When I am on the fairway, I feel like my irons do the talking quite well. And then there is my mindset. When I got into final rounds in contention, I am not worrying about what other people do but worrying about how I can shoot four to six under to hopefully get into the lead or be somewhere around contention. Whereas at the start of my professional career I was watching what the leaders were doing rather than focusing on myself.
Away from golf, I am a big fan of UFC. It is just entertaining. Some people like the fighting but I like the mind games you play inside the cage. There is so much technique, they are thinking of four moves ahead. I just love that part. It’s the same with Formula One. Xtreme sports just get the adrenaline pumping for me – watching that is, I can’t imagine what it is actually like for them!
I also love cars. I own a couple of Australian Holden Commodore V8 cars. They stopped making Holden cars in 2017 so I have got one of their collector items from 2014. I treated myself to one at the end of last year after two good weeks at the Australian PGA Championship and the Australian Open, which was also a month after I got my first pro victory.