TOUR LIFE IS PAUL RIGHT
Kirkhill golfer happy with his form despite results
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