AT JUST 22 years old, Danial Durisic is training to become a professional golfer, with hopes of eventually grabbing some international titles and bringing fame to the nation.
He is currently with the Malaysian national golf team. He has participated in several professional and amateur tournaments. He even represented Malaysia in the 2017 Southeast Asia Games (SEA) games.
He graduated from the University of Arkansas in the US with a degree in International Studies. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Sports Management at Illinois State University.
In this interview with theSun, the young man appeared confident regarding the career path he has chosen.
Describe your childhood years.
“My father is from Croatia. He is an architect. He is currently based in Australia for his work. When I was very young, I did go back to my father’s place in Croatia to see my grandmother. I can’t remember much about the visit because I was too young.
“My mother is a Malay from Johor. She is a housewife and a part-time baker. I am their eldest child. I have one younger sister who is 19 years old. She is training to be a professional golfer, too. There is a healthy competition between us. We always train together.”
How did your interest in golf begin?
“My father was an ardent golfer. He was obsessed with golf. He took me to play golf at the age of six.
“Initially I did not like the game. I felt it was preventing me from spending more time with my friends. But slowly, I learnt to love the game.”
Badminton and football are more popular than golf, at least in Malaysia. Why did you choose to be a golfer?
“In my teenage days, I played football, badminton and rugby. But I was better at golf. I want to make this game popular in Malaysia. Golf is a game of concentration. It is a mentally challenging game.”
Tell me your future plans.
“I am currently working with my coach Steven Juliano. He is considered one of the best golf coaches in Malaysia. He is the type of coach who will take me to the next level. I am very grateful to be training under him.”
What do you do with your free time?
“I play futsal and chess. But I have not played chess for a long time. I love reading fiction and self-help books. My favourite fiction author is John Grisham. I love stories about the law. One of my dreams is to get a law degree.
“I also love self-help books because they enhance my confidence. The last book I read was Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.”
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
“My friends say I am friendly, humble and get along well with people. They even say I can be funny, too. My weakness is that I am afraid to say: ‘No’ to my friends. I must learn to say ‘No’.”
What is your philosophy in life?
“To be a good person. To be a great citizen, because I love my country. To be a good student. To be a good golfer. All of them are interconnected. I believe the most important thing is to become a good person. When you are a good person, you will not cheat. Indirectly you will become a good sportsperson.”
Who are the sports personalities you admire?
“There are two sports personalities I admire. The first is Tiger Woods. Even if you are not a big fan of golf, you will know who Woods is.
“He has changed the way people see the game. In the past, people thought of golf as a tame game. But he injected some excitement to the sport.”
Who is the second sport personality you admire?
“Lee Chong Wei. He has done so much for badminton, both inside and outside the country. He fully understood that to be good in sport, you have to give 100% commitment to the game.
“Whenever he played, he united us as Malaysians. We forgot our differences in terms of our race and religion. We became one. We became truly Malaysian.”