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Life as a professional golfer isn't all glamour and million-dollar purses. Fred Woodcock meets a local battler.

Brenden Stuart has become accustomed to doing things the hard way but he wants to make life as a professional golfer a little easier this year.

Stuart made the transition to professional ranks about 18 months ago after a long and successful stint as the leading amateur player in Wellington.

Life on the Australasian tour is treating him well enough. "I've kept my head above water," he says, but he is targeting bigger and better things in 2009.

"The lifestyle I lived last year was fantastic. I can't complain, but I can't carry on like that for five years," he said this week from Queenstown, preparing for his second straight New Zealand Open appearance.

"I've got to step it up this year and I just need a break in one of these bigger events, get a feel for it, and go from there."

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