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Wright move for golfer to turn pro

By Craig Christie

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FORRES golfer Jeff Wright is driving towards the European Tour circuit after joining the professional ranks.

Forres golfer Jeff Wright is joining the pro ranks.
Forres golfer Jeff Wright is joining the pro ranks.

Wright (27). who is a member at both Forres and Moray Golf Club, is part of this year's Pro Golf Tour following a successful stint at their qualifying school in Germany.

A top 20 finish ensured the Scottish internationalist full playing rights for the 2020 season which began in January.

He played in six tournaments before the sport was put into stasis by the Covid-19 outbreak.

By then, Wright had finished tied for 16th place at the Red Sea Egyptian Classic and was joint 21st at the Open Palmeraie in Morocco.

With numerous triumphs in amateur golf, Wright has the credentials to make it on the pro scene.

The Singapore-born player represented his country at the Men's Home International last year, and he has twice won the North Alliance title as well as the 2016 Men's Inter-District Invitational and North of Scotland Open.

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Wright adds to his collection of north titles

"It has always been a goal for me and something that I have been working towards for a few years now," he said at the start of the tour.

"I have worked hard with my coach, Neil Marr at Meldrum House, to get my game to a level where I feel I am ready to leave the amateur ranks and take on a new challenge."

Wright is keen to secure sponsorship for what promises to be a frantic year ahead.

"I will be busy getting everything I need in place to travel and compete across Europe and North Africa, with my main focus being securing sponsorship to help me get started.

"On the satellite tours it is unlikely that I will make a profit for the year as the prize funds are modest in comparison to the main tours - however, expenses are similar.

"The satellite tours are there to get people like myself started in professional golf and promote them on to greater things. That is why securing sponsorship is crucial to progress as quickly as possible to the main tours where there is money to be won.

"I know of a few of the current Scottish professionals who started out on the Pro Golf Tour who now compete on the main European Tour and I aim to follow them there."

The Pro Golf Tour is a German PGA-run tour with more than 20 tournaments across seven countries with competitors coming from over 25 different countries.

Recognised by the European Tour as a gateway to the Challenge Tour, the Pro Golf Tour is one of four official satellite tours alongside the UK based EuroPro tour.

The top five competitors from the season-long order of merit will progress to the challenge tour and then play for the right to reach the highest level of European professional golf on the European Tour itself.

Wright's step up to the pro scene is a source of great pride in his home town.

"We at Forres Golf Club are absolutely delighted for Jeff," said club manager Sean Blacklaw.

"It has always been a long-term goal for him to take the step into professional golf. To achieve this with full playing rights at the Professional Golf Tour Qualifying School is testament to his undoubted ability and continued commitment to making this goal a reality."

Forres Golf Club has a reputation for developing elite level golfers with many reaching the highest level of amateur golf in Scotland.

"This is something which the amazing volunteer team at the golf club continues to work hard on with our junior section to ensure that every child in Forres, and the surrounding areas have the same opportunity that Jeff had. It will be great for the next, and future generations to be able to look at Jeff as a role model representing the golf club on a recognised professional tour."

Tour events in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and the Netherlands have been put on hold due to the coronavuris outbreak.

Shona Donnelly, who leads the Moray Speyside Golf Development Group added: “We congratulate Jeff on this amazing achievement and wish him every success in his future blossoming career.

"It is great to see one of our own progress and we hope that his success helps to demonstrate the quality of courses we have here in Moray Speyside.

"This is also a great opportunity for local businesses to gain international exposure, and we would urge any potential sponsor to contact Forres Golf Club or Jeff directly."

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