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Nisbet gets taste of life in the States

IF DANIEL Nisbet is ever in a position to win a major tournament, figuratively standing with him over the putt will be the younger version of himself - the one who took the knocks so he could get the rewards.

Approaching his first anniversary as a professional, the highly talented Caboolture prospect recently returned from a gruelling four-month stint playing minor tournaments in the US - an experience that had a rite of passage feel to it.

He did not achieve his goal of cracking the second-tier Tour, but found the process rewarding.

"I spent time trying to get a feel for what life on the tour is like over there," he said.

"I thought I learnt how to travel and play golf at the same time.

"I learnt what it takes to make it over there. I think I learnt a lot of things and got valuable information out of it."

A valuable experience, to be sure, though the 22-year-old former amateur star would have preferred to be playing on the US PGA Tour, which he was in a position to achieve after firing a four-round total of 24 under in the first stage of the tour's Qualifying School late last year.

But professional golf being what it is, there is many a lick on the road to success.

Nisbet has already received plenty of licks. He led by 12 strokes after the Q-School's first stage, but failed to advance to the third and final stage.

Nisbet, who won the Club Car Twin Waters Pro-Am last Tuesday, would have rightly viewed that adventure as being part of the learning process. He will again attempt to qualify for the world's premier tour this year.

Those familiar with the Nisbet story would know that the biggest blow he received was not administered by the golfing gods, but by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In early 2010, he was handed an 18-month ban after Customs officers at Brisbane airport caught him trying to bring steroids into the country.

He said the bottle, labelled "legal", was for a non-athlete friend.

But in his quest to build a bridge that is sturdy enough to provide passage for Daniel Nisbet leading amateur to become Daniel Nisbet leading professional, the winner of the 2012 US Players Amateur Championship must always eye the future.

"My goal is to play on Tour in America ... I like the lifestyle in the US and I want to be based there," he said.

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