"I want to put a strong defence up. I'll be putting a little extra pressure on myself and I'll have to manage that" ... Greg Chalmers. Photo: Getty Images
GREG CHALMERS is more excited than daunted by the challenge of defending his Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship titles in the next fortnight.
Twelve months ago the Texas-based left-hander became the 12th golfer in 108 years to claim the Australian Open and PGA double in the same year.
Told it had been 62 years since a player - Norman Von Nida (1950) - who won both tournaments had been able to successfully defend even one of them, Chalmers said: ''That doesn't surprise me at all.''
Chalmers's quest starts on Thursday in the Open at the Lakes in Sydney before switching to Coolum for the PGA next week.
''I'm keen and really hungry to get out and get to work,'' he said. ''I want to put a strong defence up. I'll be putting a little extra pressure on myself and I'll have to manage that. I've got a really unique experience coming up in the next couple of weeks.''
Sydney-born Chalmers defeated a world-class field including US Presidents Cup stars Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson to win last year's Open at the Lakes before capturing the PGA Championship crown in a three-way play-off.
The 39-year-old US PGA Tour regular said it was a special time.
''I went home to Dallas and sat down with a drink and watched the tapes of both wins and for me, the best part was who I got to share it with,'' he said. ''In the past, when I've won stuff I haven't had family or friends or coaches to share it with.
''I'm at a point in my career where those things really matter and sharing them like I did is rare.''
Chalmers's two Australian victories last year made a world of difference to his 2012 season.
It pushed his world ranking from outside the top 200 into the top 100, opening a lot of big tournament doors.
''Those wins put me on top of the Australasian PGA Tour money list and then I am in the Matchplay World Golf Championships and the British Open,'' he said.
''I got into the US PGA [Championship] field and a bunch of other opportunities I otherwise would not have had. I know if I can defend one or both titles that good things will happen so I am pretty keen to finish off the year strong.''
Chalmers posted just one top 10 finish on the US tour this season. But he made 20 cuts from 25 tournaments, banking $US1.16 million ($1.11 million) in prizemoney.
''I played three good rounds most weeks,'' he said. ''Sunday was pretty ugly most of the time this year which was a little disappointing, which I plan to do something about that next season.''