Sydney Morning Herald
It is the feel-good story of Australian golf. Scott Gardiner, a proud Aborigine, will next year become the first indigenous Australian to play on the USPGA Tour. Gardiner showed he had plenty of talent when he first introduced himself to the Australian golfing public in 2000 as an amateur when he finished tied for eighth in the Greg Norman Holden International and then tied seventh in the Australian Masters.
He turned pro, and finished tied fourth in the now defunct Players Championship. In 2001, he played on invite on the European Tour in 12 events and won €156,000. In 2000, Adam Scott played 11 events on invite on the European Tour and won the lesser €146,000. Scott so nearly won this year's British Open, and is ranked No.5 in the world; Gardiner is 346th; Scott has played 196 PGA Tour events, winning eight times with total prize money of more than $US28 million. Gardiner? Well, he has never played a PGA Tour event, but now he will in 2013. All that remains is for it to become official.
Last weekend, he finished tied second in the Boise Open and snared $US47,850 ($45,700) to bring his earnings on the secondary US Web.com Tour to $US212,710. If you finish runner-up at an event on the big tour, you'd pocket 10 times the amount for second spot at the Boise Open.
Gardiner is now ninth on the money list, and irrespective of how they go in the remaining six events, he will be one of the top 25 who earn their card to the riches of the PGA Tour. Gardiner has been playing the secondary tour full-time since 2005, and has gone ever so close to winning a card in the past. In 2010, he made a late double-bogey in the final round of the last event, and finished 26th. His potential in 2000-01 was such that IMG signed him up. The international company no longer manages him, but those who dealt with Gardiner still barrack for him without the dollar signs in their minds. Put simply, Gardiner is one of the nicest blokes you could ever meet in golf; perhaps too nice, for all successful professional golfers have a touch of mongrel in them.