Wild weather par for course for Michel

Shepparton News - - SPORT - By Adem Barolli

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.

Pic­ture: Ray Sizer

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.

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