A three-time winner around the world and son of a PGA of Australia life member, it would be easy to think Wade Ormsby was always destined for a career in professional golf. However, as the 40-year-old reveals here, that wasn’t necessarily the case. Particularly when another sport always had his attention.
You recently had to spend some time in hotel quarantine in Adelaide, what was that like?
It is what it is. Everyone that was away, it was the main topic of conversation, but anyway that was when I had planned to come home and do one long stint. But it was fine, I was fortunate to get a room with a nice view, just tried to make the most of a bit of time to myself (laughs).
After some mixed results last year, was going overseas during the height of the coronavirus the right choice to make?
Absolutely. It was the only way for Aussie players to do it at the time. We couldn’t really have weeks off over there otherwise we had to quarantine, so I thought I would play a nine-week run and knock it out. You still want to play well every week, but I had a few weeks there that I was prepared to tear up just because I knew I was over there for a stint and wanted to play well in the bigger events.
You nearly won your last event of 2019, won your first in 2020, had a baby and led the Asian Tour Order of Merit before the Tour closed up shop. Amongst all the strange 2020 experiences, yours might rate up there in golf.
I had a pretty good run over Christmas and the start of 2020, and when you have a good run you want to keep on going. I think at the start everyone was happy to take a bit of a break, but we weren’t looking for five months off. It was almost perfect timing for my wife and I to have a baby at the start of April, time you are never going to get back spending three and a half months with her at home before I set off to Europe. That was a blessing in disguise really.
You have nearly won the Aussie PGA three times. What is it about that event for you?
I always play well at Royal Pines, it is always a good feeling for Australians to come home and perform. The events aren’t as big as some others around the world but they mean a lot to us. You want your name on those trophies, especially the Australian PGA with the PGA being something that means a lot to our family. I probably put a bit too much pressure on myself towards the end of those because I really want to win it for dad. I felt like I really lost that tournament in 2019. I don’t think I have been so annoyed at myself leaving a golf tournament as what I was that week.
As the son of a PGA member, was there a chance you would be anything but a golf pro?
Absolutely, I was never that good (laughs).
My brother was always the much better golfer growing up and I was always trying to chase him down. He had a better amateur career than me, a better junior career, I was always interested in other stuff and other sports, and then got to about 16 and closed the gap. I set my eyes on going to college and I guess you just keep on grinding hard on what you want and I think you can achieve whatever you want in this world if you want it bad enough.
You mentioned college, you attended the University of Houston (same as Steve Elkington) what was that experience like?
Coming from South Australia our amateur programs at that time weren’t as advanced as other states, so it kind of left me with minimal options.
I definitely wasn’t good enough to turn pro at 18, so needed to try and get a lot better and grow as a player and a person, so that’s what I decided to do and leave options open in case golf didn’t turn out. It was fantastic, made me toughen up as a player.
You are a huge motorsport fan, would you trade your career in golf to be a race car driver?
I think the more I know about professional sport they’re all the same when you get to the top, they all become work. I still race go karts competitively.