To say that Andrew Martin is upbeat about his upcoming venture on to the DP World Tour would be understating the fact.
The truth is that the 38-year-old has been trying for years to get to what used to be known as the European Tour.
Now, as a result of finishing inside the top three on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia’s Order of Merit, Martin has achieved his dream as a mature-aged player.
He will likely start his career as a DP World Tour player at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship atRoyal Queensland around November, when the 2023-24 season is likely to start, along with his fellow top-three graduates, David Micheluzzi and Tom Power Horan.
Martin, who’s teeing it up in The National Tournament presented by BMW on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula this week, reflected on his 17 years as a professional and recalled that his first crack at DP World Tour playing rights was in 2006, in Sweden. He reached the second stage, the only time he’s ever done that. He recalls playing in “at least nine” tour schools in Europe without success.
“It’s something I’ve been trying to achieve in 16 years of going to Q-Schools,” he said. “I’m stoked about it.”
Martin, who lives across the bay at Ocean Grove, has found a new lease on life in the past two years under coach Darren Cole, breaking a world record with four eagles in a single round on his way to a win at the TPS Sydney event last season, then winning the Vic PGA Championship at Moonah Links this season.
He’s currently fourth on the Order of Merit but second-placed Brendan Jones is not eligible because he did not play the required four tournaments to have his points counted, lifting Martin to third.
And given that no other players in the field this week can catch his 661 points, Martin is guaranteed top-three and that means he will receive a DP World Tour card under the alignment between that tour and the Australasian Tour.
A few days ago, he learned that he could not be shifted from the top three and that his playing rights were secure, and he told his wife, Rachel. Then the phone started ringing.
“This year I’ve stuck to my way,” he said. “I’m not trying to do what I think I should do. It’s something my coach has said. He went overseas and came back and said: ‘These guys just hit it. They’re not about consequences’.
“So for me, if the shot’s there, just go for it. I was very defensive. I’m not the longest hitter so I play to strategies. Now I just trust my ability to hit that shot. I play my game and don’t worry about the other stuff.
“It’s the best couple of years I’ve had on tour. The opportunities that the tour is providing now are good. It’s good they’re sticking to one pathway and I hope they keep to it.”
Martin has already played 14 times this season and is keen for a break, but while he could potentially have taken a week off having achieved his primary aim, he’s a grinder.
Back at The National Tournament presented by BMW starting on the Moonah course today, he is in one of his favourite places in the world.
“I love coming down here,” he said. “I love this area. I haven’t played the Moonah course as much, but it’s a good way to finish the year.”