Gentle giant Zach Murray has taken the professional dive in time for the Australian Open.
Murray, 21, takes his ISPS Handa PGA Tour or Australasia card that he earned on winning the recent West Australian Open on Mount Lawley in Perth.
After conducting that wire-to-wire tournament and then backing up days later to lead the recent Isuzu Queensland Open, Murray thinks it's time to join the pay-for-play grades
"I always wanted to be professional when I played my best golf, so it seems like a good time now," said Murray, who will play his fifth national championship at The Lakes in Sydney.
"Obviously, this tournament means a lot to me, so there's no better time to make a crack."
Murray, of Wodonga, leaves the formative stages of his career after winning the crown of the Australian Master of the Amateurs and has played in three winning Victorian teams, of which twice the captain, in his beloved Interstate Series.
He paid tribute to his & # 39; amazing & # 39; parents, his friends and teammates at both Wodonga and Commonwealth golf clubs and others who helped with his development.
"Golf Australia has been fantastic, every help from everyone at the Victorian Institute of Sport and especially my coach Marty Joyce with whom I have lived for six years now and we have developed a great relationship," Murray said.
"What they have taught me is that this next step is not a race, it is a journey.
"So I am very much looking forward to taking this next step and taking my card with the PGA of Australia."
PGA CEO Gavin Kirkman welcomed Murray in the tour levels.
"Zach is a very talented player who was fully featured in the WA Open and we are delighted to officially welcome him as a member of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia," he said.
"I am sure that this is only the first step in a bright future and we look forward to helping Zach realize his dreams with the opportunities that the tour makes available."
Golf Australia's high-performance director Brad James was also enthusiastic about the Murray trajectory.
"We have all seen how Zach developed into a special athlete with a great temperament and character," said James.
"Now that all our athletes are on their way to professional ranks, he will have our full support in this next step in what we hope is a long career."