Digby golfer turns at­ten­tion to pro

Tri-County Vanguard - - SPORTS - GLENN MAC­DON­ALD SALTWIRE NET­WORK

Digby golfer Myles Creighton is turn­ing pro.

Af­ter learn­ing he wouldn’t be se­lected for Golf Canada’s na­tional am­a­teur squad, Creighton – the 2017 Nova Sco­tia am­a­teur cham­pion – will pur­sue a ca­reer as a pro­fes­sional golfer.

“I prob­a­bly would have been on (the na­tional am­a­teur team) if I played OK over the sum­mer and had a cou­ple good fin­ishes,” the 22-year-old Creighton said in a re­cent phone in­ter­view from Jupiter, Flor­dia.

“I kind of strug­gled over the sum­mer and got into a bad funk event af­ter event. It was kind of tough. But I’m fine with not mak­ing the team,” he said. “I can get started on the pro thing. I’m not too dis­ap­pointed. I feel like I’ve done ev­ery­thing I wanted to do in am­a­teur golf.”

Creighton will re­main in Florida to play in a few Mi­nor League Golf Tour events as well as the Florida Elite Golf Tour in prepa­ra­tion for qual­i­fy­ing school next year.

“I want to get some reps in be­fore Q school, whether it’s Canada, Latin Amer­ica or pos­si­bly even China,” Creighton said.

Qual­i­fy­ing school for the PGA Tour Latin Amer­ica will be held in Jan­uary, fol­lowed by China in Fe­bru­ary and qual­i­fy­ing events for the Cana­dian tour in the spring.

Each tour is a feeder cir­cuit for the Web.com Tour.

And each Q school comes with a price tag.

En­try fee for the 2018 PGA Tour Canada qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment was US $2,750.

“China and Latin Amer­ica is about the same but ob­vi­ously you have to travel for those ones,” Creighton said.

“You hope to make money ob­vi­ously to help cover the costs. But the only tours where you’re go­ing to be suf­fi­cient in mak­ing money and break­ing even are on the PGA Tour and the Web.com Tour. Other than that, the oth­ers are just step­ping stones to get there. You’re not gen­er­at­ing any in­come.”

Creighton said he played a round with PGA Tour rookie Corey Con­ners of Lis­towel, Ont. last week.

Con­ners, who has played on the Cana­dian and Latin Amer­i­can tours and the Web.com Tour be­fore grad­u­at­ing to the PGA Tour last October, gave Creighton some insights on what it takes — and costs — to be­come a pro­fes­sional.

“He said he did a full year on the Latin tour and that cost him about $75,000,” Creighton re­called. “You would have to fin­ish at least sec­ond or third to help cover that amount.”

Creighton fig­ured it would cost him about $30,000 to play a sea­son on the PGA Tour Canada.

“You’d have to fin­ish top 10 to cover that cost.”

Creighton, who grad­u­ated in May with a busi­ness de­gree from Rad­ford Uni­ver­sity, ex­celled in his four sea­sons at the Vir­ginia col­lege.

He com­pleted his col­le­giate ca­reer with a 72.95 all-time scor­ing record, the low­est ca­reer scor­ing av­er­age in the Rad­ford men’s golf pro­gram his­tory.

He won back-to-back Big South scholar ath­lete of the year awards, the first Rad­ford men’s golfer to earn that hon­our, and was named to the Vir­ginia State Golf As­so­ci­a­tion’s sec­ond all-state team.

Two weeks be­fore cap­tur­ing the ’17 Nova Sco­tia am­a­teur at Oak­field Golf and Coun­try Club, Creighton was vic­to­ri­ous at the Rice Planters Am­a­teur, con­sid­ered one of the top am­a­teur events in the U.S.

Creighton, who’s been work­ing with PGA Tour coach Jeff Leish­man, feels his game is ready for the pros.

“My coach, who’s worked with Daniel Berger (2015 PGA Tour rookie of the year) and a few other guys, has been giv­ing me some good ad­vice,” Creighton said. “He knows what it takes. It puts me in a good spot.

“A huge thing though is hav­ing the funds and the bud­get to be able to play in ev­ery­thing. Liv­ing down here and hav­ing a golf course to play at is so ex­pen­sive. And there are so many kids do­ing what I’m do­ing down here in Jupiter. I’m a dime a dozen down here.”

CON­TRIB­UTED

Digby golfer Myles Creighton, shown here as a se­nior with the Rad­ford Uni­ver­sity men’s team ear­lier this year, is turn­ing pro.

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