16 November 2010
Golf | Daniel Phan
COMING third in the Australian Masters is just the start of bigger things for Daniel Gaunt.
The boy from Romsey briefly led the leader board after hitting a 16 in the first round, only to relinquish his advantage with a double bogey on Friday.
Despite a valiant effort, which saw him finish right above world No. 2 Tiger Woods, Gaunt is ruing relinquishing the lead, which ultimately cost him a maiden win on Australian soil.
“I’m shattered, to be honest, to have played very well, hitting a perfect 16,” Gaunt said.
Despite his disappointment, the 31-year-old has enjoyed the attention from the Victorian public, and family and friends.
“The whole experience has been amazing especially coming down the straight with everyone screaming your name,” he said.
“I’ve had numerous Facebook messages from people around Romsey. There’s been plenty of support from the town.
“It means all this hard work has started to pay off.”
Gaunt’s mother, Bev, could hardly describe her elation, given the economic pitfalls her sons endured in pursuing their sporting dreams.
“I’m very emotional at the moment, we’re really proud of both of them,” she said.
“It has been so tough on them, living away from their family it is very tough, financially and emotionally. People don’t realise how tough it is to make ends meet.
“It usually costs about a couple of thousand dollars getting to a tournament, the travel and accommodation, and there is a lot of pressure on the boys.”
Growing up on a farm in Romsey, there was never any doubt the direction in which Daniel and his older brother Chris would take their careers.
“They used to set up their own little golf course and played every day,” she said.
“Their father played golf at the Romsey club, as did their grandfather, so it was only natural that both Daniel and Chris played golf.”
Gaunt, who has vowed to return to next year’s tournament, has set his radar on one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments.
“My main goal is to qualify for the President’s Cup, and to push into the top 50 in the world rankings,” Gaunt said.
“And I also hope that I can help get new kids to join up and play golf at the local club. It’d be nice to bring Romsey on to the map.”