CARD JOY FOR GOLFER PAUL
Kirkhill star wins a place on European Challenge Tour
A former Trinity High School student has won a 2016 Challenge Tour card after competing with hundreds of golfers for a top prize.
Paul Shields (24), made the cut for the tour after playing in a six-round marathon at the PGA Catalunya resort in the north east of Spain earlier this month.
The member of Kirkhill Golf Club in Cambuslang was competing at the European Tour Qualifying School finals.
He was playing for a European Tour card where there was just 25 up for grabs. Paul narrowly missed out but fortunately finished high up in the leader board, from a starting field of 156, to claim a Challenge Tour card.
He will now take up a place on the 2016 European Challenge Tour.
He said: “It was played over two courses at PGA Cataluya and it is a fantastic facility and the course is one of the hardest.
“It’s tough and it’s got every shot you need to get round. There’s not really many lapses of concentration you can have.
“I’d been playing great. I qualified the week before at the second stage, so I knew I was playing good and it was just a bit of experience.
“I’ve never experienced the intensity or the longevity of the six rounds. It was just a strange format but I adapted well and felt I did really well to get where I did to have a chance of getting a card going into the back nine, I just couldn’t really get over the edge. But I’ll get there hopefully.”
Paul travelled to Australia on Friday to play in the Australian PGA championship in his final competition of the year which starts tomorrow (December 3).
He reflected on his six rounds and experiences of playing with some of the best players in the world such as Italian golfer, Edoardo Molinari, who was a
member of the 2010 European Ryder Cup winning team .
Paul said:“Everybody there is fighting to get their card.
“I think the average age of the guys that got their card from Britain was something like 31 so I shouldn’t be too disheartened.
“I knew I was playing well so I knew I had to stay patient.
“Whenever you made a bogey you had to say to yourself that‘you’re playing 108 holes so you can’t get in a bad mood.
“You can’t get yourself down. It’s more of a mental challenge than it is a golf challenge.
“I played the last round with Edoardo Molinari and it was great experience to play with him because he was some player.
“He was a lovely guy and it shows you where you’ve come. You see him on the TV and now you’ve played with him, it’s like a pinch yourself moment.”
Chasing cards Paul’s on the Challenge Tour