Wild weather par for course for Michel
Typhoons and tornadoes are just part of the job for Kyle Michel.
The budding Shepparton golfer, 21, has the world at his feet and after travelling from the United Kingdom to Japan and the United States he is confident he has the ability to mix it with the world’s best amateurs.
The past two months have been a whirlwind for the former Goulburn Valley Grammar student, but with the sport ingrained in his skin, there is no holding Michel back.
Michel first picked up a club aged three and starting teeing off balls and it was not long after he was hitting the fairway on a Sunday at the Shepparton Golf Club, learning from the professionals on offer.
At 18, Michel joined the likes of Jarrod Lyle, Marcus Fraser and David Diaz as Shepparton Golf Club champions in 2014, before going back-to-back the year after.
‘‘It was a special occasion, to grow up playing at Shepp and then to have my name etched alongside those who have played before me is pretty awesome,’’ Michel said.
‘‘I can’t play there as much as I would like to with my commitments, but I do love coming back home to have a swing.’’
Michel’s latest expedition overseas was a stepping stone in the right direction and a taste of what needs to be done to play at the top of his game.
‘‘It was an eye opener for me,’’ Michel said.
‘‘I played some good golf and was able to mix it in Japan and go extremely close to winning and then at other times I did not play as well as I would have liked.
‘‘In saying that, I still finished around the chasing pack, so to compete against the guys overseas at their game was really pleasing.’’
Michel has seen wild weather halt play before at a number of his tournaments, but nothing will top what he experienced on two separate occasions within weeks of each other.
‘‘In Japan we had a typhoon roll through, which almost made the course unplayable, delaying play for six hours, while only a few weeks later we were called off after a tornado was just about to roll through our course in America,’’ Michel said.
‘‘It was strange, you never experience things to that extent, but it was a learning experience and while all that was happening I still had to remain focused in order to perform.’’
Michel almost clinched the Japan Amateur Golf Championship last month, but a double bogey on the 17th hole ruined his winning chances.
‘‘It was disappointing, but I suppose I can be proud of myself with the way I played,’’ Michel said.
‘‘In the end that is golf, one bad hit, one bad bounce or a lack of concentration can cost you during the biggest moments.’’
With lofty ambitions, who knows what the future may hold for Michel, but the budding star will do everything in his power to make the professional circuit.
Michel is aiming to conquer international scene again next year with a similar trip in mind, and via the guidance of all those at Shepparton Golf Club and former US PGA Tour professional Lyle, Michel feels he has the support to one day fulfil his dream.
In the swing of things: Golfing ace Kyle Michel is back in Shepparton after travelling to play across the world in all sorts of trying conditions.