TRICKY 2m putts don’t rate as pressure for golfer Damien Jordan when you’re been forced to redefine the term on two confronting tours as a soldier in Iraq.
Jordan and Adam Scott, born only a month apart in 1980, played in the same Gold Coast junior events yet two more varied journeys to pro golf you will never find.
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When Scott was winning in the US for the first time in 2003, Private Jordan was in fatigues among one of the first Australian contingents sent to the Iraq war.
The game that inspired Jordan as a kid is now his living, his competitive excitement and part-therapy, he even bought an skytrak launch monitor so in his time off we can practice his movements.
Winning the Victorian PGA earlier this year and conquering mighty Huntingdale with a 65 was fulfilment for the Coolangatta-Tweed Heads golfer.
“I had one of the Kiwi caddies ask me last month: ‘How are you under pressure?’,” Jordan, 36, said.
“Mate, I definitely have a different take on it because if I make bogey or miss a putt it’s not the end of the world.
“If I made mistakes in Iraq it could cost your life … an IED (improvised explosive device) could go off on a patrol and I wouldn’t be going home.
“I try not to let golf stress me.
“At the end of the day, I know I have a beautiful family at home if I miss the cut or I win.”
Wife Amber and kids Ellie, 10, Ayla, 9, Lexi, 3, and 10-week-old Brody keep it busy and real because he carries their notes and drawings with him to tournaments.
There was extra motivation when Brody was born on the Monday of tournament week.
“My old coach texted congratulations on my baby boy and just added, ‘show him the week he was born that dad won the Vic PGA’,” Jordan said.
“That resonated the whole way through the final round.”
Jordan’s pair of 66s at last month’s New Zealand Open is further validation his golf has hit a purple patch to build on for summer’s biggest events and even a shot overseas.
Achievements are often best measured by the hurdles overcome.
Late-bloomer Jordan has beaten demons, beaten the bottle and grabbed back a life that some of his army friends could not after returning from his second tour of Iraq in 2006.
“I went through some dark days straight out of the army,” Jordan said.
“When you’ve seen what mates and I have seen through war, it gets some in the end and others don’t turn for help.
“I knew early that something wasn’t right with me, went to Veteran Affairs and I’ll be taking medication for life.
“I turned to golf.
“To fight off the demons I have makes what I’ve done in golf something to be proud of and Amber has really steadied the ship.”
Jordan and Scott did play in the same Greg Norman Junior Classics as teenagers on the Gold Coast in the 1990s.
“He’s always been the superstar and was flogging the field, including me, in those Junior Classic days,” Jordan said.
“It’s chalk and cheese, Adam and I.”
Originally published as ‘I try not to let golf stress me’
SOURCE: newsnow sport