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Article Posted: 4th March 2014
The gulf between being a top amateur and a lower tier professional is far wider than you might imagine.
The history books are littered with top teenagers and older failing to adapt once they’ve joined the paid ranks.
It’s not just a different level of golf, but also a vast change in lifestyle. And if you can’t cope with either then there’s little chance of making the grade.
The late, great Seve Ballesteros used to say: 'To be a top golfer, you must be able to play on any course, eat from any table and sleep in any bed.' How true.
Some do take to the nomadic life of a golfer and prosper and I have no doubt whatsoever that Kevin Phelan will be one of them. His career is still in its infancy, but already he has made an impression on his peers… and it’s a very favourable one.
Kevin’s best performance to date in this embryonic season came when he tied for sixth at the Tshwane Open in South Africa last weekend and there will be more top tens coming from him as he settles into life on tour.
Also tied sixth was Chris Wood and I am equally certain that his third win as a professional will come sooner rather than later. A last-round triple bogey ended Simon Dyson’s chances of another win, but he still finished tentth while David Howell and Matt Baldwin completed our quintet of top-20 hits.
Another name to keep your eye on is Chesson Hadley, our first US Tour-based American. He finished 24th at the Honda Classic in Florida and his graph will continue to rise.
We have five starters for the WGC – Cadillac Championship and I’m sure Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood, Joost Luiten, George Coetzee and Peter Uihlein will all fancy their chances.
Finally, congratulations to Michael Lumb, who became only the second England player to score a century on his one-day international debut, while skipper Stuart Broad fronted up to score the winning runs as England levelled the series against the West Indies.... » More