When we called Dimitrios Papadatos in London recently, he was perched in front of the TV at a friend's home in Weybridge, close to the area of Surrey that is blessed with a plethora of magnificent golf courses, including Wentworth, Sunningdale and Walton Heath.
The Scottish Open was headed into a thrilling playoff conclusion but the first thing Papadatos would say down the line with excitement is his voice was ‘Andrew Dodt just got the last qualifying spot for The Open next week’.
Fans might remember ‘Dimi’ taking out the WA PGA Championship at Kalgoorlie in May and then the very next week, before taking his place on the European Challenge Tour, there he was in London on the bag of Dodt as his fellow New South Welshman teed off in the final group on Sunday at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
As it turns out, Dodt and the rest of the field were run over by Alex Noren’s phenomenal 10-under 62 to take the title but Papadatos was able to soak up the experience of being involved in the European Tour’s second biggest event, behind The Open Championship.
He hasn’t been playing too badly himself over the past few months either, albeit under challenging circumstances.
“It’s been going alright.” Papadatos said of his recent form. “I had a good result in Prague, I finished 11th there, and finished 5th the week before in the Euro Pro event.”
“It hasn’t been anything special really but it’s been alright. I’ve had limited opportunities but it’s been a good experience.”
Papadatos wasn’t on his mate’s bag at Royal Birkdale as he was competing on the Challenge Tour in France the same week. With that over, the 26-year old now has eyes for home to prepare for an assault on the next two events of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia season – the Fiji International and of course, the NT PGA Championship - presented by Cazalys Palmerston.
Palmerston holds very fond memories for Papadatos as he won in his last appearance in the Top End at the Palmerston Pro-Am in 2015, shooting a blistering 10-under par for the 36-hole event.
“I played alright and had a win so I have good memories from being up there.”
“I’ve been up there to Darwin a few times over the years, played a few amateur events.”
“I’ve got a good friend up there, Kevin Marques, so I’ve played a few times and stayed with his family. Kev and his Dad have shown me around so I’ve seen most of the sights up there, including a bit of Mitchell St!” he laughed.
“It’s awesome up there. Great weather, courses are good, the people are really friendly. It’s always nice going back.”
Following the NT PGA, Papadatos is leaning towards remaining at home rather than returning to Europe, to prepare to give it his all over the remainder of the Australian season.
After winning the Victorian Open and WA PGA Championship so far in 2017, Papadatos sits in 4th place on the Order of Merit with the very real prospect of entry to many of the world’s biggest events - if he can maintain or improve on his already lofty ranking.
Returning to the uncertainty of starts on the Euro Challenge Tour, for this season at least, is becoming less appealing by contrast.
“The invitations (in Europe) are very late if I get them, so it’s very hard organising yourself when you’re getting call ups at the last minute to say you’re in the tournament.” he said.
“It’s good and I’ve been playing well, but it’s very draining and it’s hard to keep my game where I want it to be.”
“I need to get something a bit more solid so I’m going to try to finish as high as I can on the Aussie Order of Merit, see where that takes me.”
With that in mind, another big performance in familiar surroundings at Palmerston will go a long way to helping Papadatos elevate an already blossoming career to another level by the end of 2017.