Tom Rickit - a 2nd Australian Open title
Four years on, Tom Rickit still speaks glowingly of a memorable round the world trip. "The highlight of my Pitch and Putt career has been to play for Australia in the World Cup in Royal Meath," recalls Tom. "James Rogerson, Brendon Underwood and myself were runner up to Ireland on an excellent course. The Irish people were very friendly and welcoming towards us," is Tom's memory of IV World Cup during which he won one and halved three of his six matches.
Events of that August weekend in 2012 clearly left a deep impression. "The course at Royal Meath under Billy Lynch and his band of greenkeepers from all over Ireland was immaculately prepared. The other teams from all over the world were very friendly. Everything else is a distant second." Nevertheless, Tom is still campaigning with distinction on the Australian circuit. In November, he secured the Australian Open championship with a 72 hole total of 14 under par 202 at Canberra International.
Rickit is definitely a devotee of the maxim that the most important six inches in Pitch and Putt are those between one's two ears! "When I became number one ranked player in Australia in 2011 and 2012, leading up to the World Cup, I used Jose de Silva’s “Mind Control” techniques," explains Tom. "These course discs were made available to Canberra International members but others were unable to open both sides of the brain as I was able."
He is still putting those methods to good use and they were particularly in evidence on the Sunday of the 2016 Australian Open. "To focus a mind with both hemispheres functioning increases concentration such that 47 in the third round of this year's Australian Open was a walk in the park." Having trailed by two overnight, Rickit now led by two after that 47 and was able to close out his second Australian Open title with a final round 53. He had previously won at Canberra International with 190 in 2013.
Confidence is clearly not an issue for Tom Rickit. "This puts heaps of pressure on James Rogerson and Jack Kalis, my playing ‘partners’ in 2016 Australian Open," he insists. "These techniques allow you to force yourself to put the ball on green and then sink the putts in pressure situations."
"Mind Control" techniques apart, Tom had no particular plan for Sunday. "I never worry about overnight situations as many times it counts for nada."
Economic realities meant the 2012 runners-up didn't compete in 2016. "I almost went to the World Cup in Andorra this year but my eldest son built his dream home, ergo no money." But Tom clearly still harbours international ambitions. "I will try to get to the Dutch Open next year or to Norway, travelling with James Rogerson and Stewart Genge. This implies I would dearly love to travel and play Pitch and Putt overseas but work and circumstances do not always allow."
Pitch and Putt is not Tom's only interest. "When I finish work I plan to try to get an International Master at chess or complete a doctorate in maths, stats or IT. These are dependent on my missus’ preferences as we may live overseas."