TOUR LIFE IS PAUL RIGHT

Kirkhill golfer happy with his form de­spite re­sults

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Back Page - Dou­glas Dickie

Paul Shields ad­mits he has had a tough start to life on the Euro­pean Chal­lenge Tour.

But the Kirkhill golfer be­lieves he can still make it to the pres­ti­gious end-of-sea­son event in Oman.

Af­ter nine events on tour so far this year, Paul lies 137th in the money list hav­ing made two cuts.

His best re­sult was a tie for 39th in the Mon­tec­chia Open by Ly­oness, a re­sult that brought with it a cheque for €1,475.

But he is back on home soil this week when he takes part in the SSE Scot­tish Hy­dro Chal­lenge at the Macdon­ald Spey Val­ley Golf and Coun­try Club.

The 25 year old said: “There has def­i­nitely been teething is­sues, es­pe­cially with trav­el­ling and be­ing tired, but I’m re­ally en­joy­ing it.

“The stan­dard is just so much bet­ter than what I’ve played with be­fore but I am not out of my depth. It’s just been a case of a cou­ple of loose shots cost­ing me.

“It’s al­ways hard chas­ing the cut. If you are sit­ting 20th then you’re not think­ing about it but if you’re 60th then it makes you ner­vous.

“There are 25 events in the sea­son and we’ve only played nine and I’m sure there are guys who have done worse than me so far and gone on to keep their card.”

Paul qual­i­fied for the Chal­lenge Tour af­ter nar­rowly miss­ing out on his card for the main tour at qual­i­fy­ing last year.

The for­mer Trin­ity pupil played his fi­nal round in qual­i­fy­ing with for­mer Ry­der Cup player Edoardo Moli­nari.

With the top 70 get­ting through to the fi­nal events in China and the top 45 play­ing the last two events of the sea­son in the Mid­dle East, Paul needs to start putting re­sults to­gether.

So far this sea­son he has trav­elled to the likes of Kenya, Turkey, Egypt and across main­land Europe.

His most re­cent event was the Na­jeti Open in France where rounds of 75 and 72 saw him miss the cut by three shots.

He will be in more fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory this week hav­ing played Macdon­ald and Spey be­fore and be­ing part of the seven-per­son SSE “Class of 2016” who re­ceive sup­port from SSE.

Paul said: “The trav­el­ling is more about know­ing where to go and when to prac­tice.

“There are guys who have been here be­fore who help you find the best places to stay. It’s not like book­ing a Premier Inn, you find your­self hav­ing to stay in a shack in Kenya or some­thing like that.

“It’s nice to be home. Last week I was in France which was a bit weird with all the foot­ball fans kick­ing about.

“I’m re­ally happy with the way I’m play­ing and hope­fully the re­sults will come.”

Teething is­sues Tough start for Paul Shields

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