19 May 17
Chris Curran believes he made the right decision to resist a USA scholarship after topping the leaderboard at the Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Championship Scottish Qualifier.
The Bathgate Golf Club Assistant Professional carded a level par round of 69 at West Linton Golf Club near Edinburgh.
That was enough to see him tie for top spot with Marc Owenson of East Lothian’s Gullane Golf Club.
They will now join 15 other qualifiers from Scotland at the the £32,000 showpiece final which is being held at Coxmoor Golf club in Nottinghamshire between August 2-4.
Curran, aged 20, is in his first year of PGA training and admitted he felt he would be more beneficial to stay close to home while learning his trade.
“I preferred the PGA route rather than going for a scholarship in the USA,” he said.
“I know people who’ve been out there and played golf but didn’t make the team because they weren’t that academic and were losing out to people who were getting better exam results.
“There was no point in going there but losing out to players who are considered smarter than you.”
Curran has represented Scotland at boys’ level but saw his last 12 months as an amateur disrupted by an ankle ligament injury.
“I only played twice last year in events that I especially wanted to be involved in before turning professional,” he explained.
“They were the Scottish Amateur Championship and my own club championship.
“So more than anything else I wanted to play this year.”
Curran admitted he was not sure what he needed to qualify for the final - so he set out to win.
“I just went for it and did my best, I wasn’t certain how many of us went through so I wanted to make sure of qualifying.
In the end, he and Owenson were just one shot ahead of a group of six players tying for second place - and the last qualifiers were on three over par.
“It was tough at times when the breeze picked up,” he said. “It’s good to get to the final but I don’t know much about Coxmoor at all.”