Aboriginal golfer’s big swing in the US
You’d think sharing the leader board with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood would be enough to shake anyone’s game but Scott Gardiner managed to keep his cool and finish the Wells Fargo Championship with a score of 2-under par.
The Deadly Vibe Wire caught up with host of NITV’s Barefoot Sports Brad Cooke, and personal friend of Scott’s to talk about what was a milestone in Australia’s Indigenous sporting history.
“He’s become the first Indigenous person to ever play golf at the US PGA tour which is the world stage of golf. Golf being such a popular sport worldwide, it’s perhaps the greatest achievement in Indigenous sporting history,” Brad says.
“You look at people like Nathan Jawai becoming the first Indigenous basketball player in the NBA and now you’ve got Jesse Williams breaking it into the NFL, Patty Mills is flying in the NBA and now for Scotty to be the first on the golfing stage of the PGA, it’s just an incredible year for Indigenous sport overseas.”
Early in the championship, bogey free Scott was tied for 2nd alongside Nick Watney and George McNeil but unfortunately was unable to hold this position.
“I spent a bit of time with him on his first ever hit on the PGA tour in Hawaii at the start of this year. He just seems like a guy who’s a real fighter, he’s strong off the tee and he’s got really good second iron shots,” Brad says.
“From what I’ve seen he plays good in any condition, he’s actually quite good in windy conditions and he’s got a great second shot into the green.”
The Championship won by Derek Ernst is only Scott’s fourth appearance in the PGA Tournament after not making the cut nine times. As the oldest rookie of the class of 2013 he shows that age doesn’t matter and his career is just beginning.
Scott ended up coming 22nd in the Championship but his future as a professional golfer is looking bright.
Being a world class athlete comes with responsibility and being a positive role model is just one of them, but Scott doesn’t disappoint.
“Yeah, he is a role model. For me he lives the values of just being a good person. He’s got incredible courage and persistence. He could’ve tuned it up any time over the last eight years being on the web.com tour – he almost made the PGA tour a couple of times and for him to deal with that disappointment, heartbreak and almost getting there, to hang in there and just finally push through and make it this year, is incredible,” Brad says.
“It’s a real core value for a lot of young people to take out of it. If you dream and work hard you can achieve it as long as you keep persisting and sticking to it.”
To read more on Scott and keep up to date with his career visit
And be sure to tune into Barefoot Sports every Thursday at 8:30pm AEST with Brad Cooke.