STEVEN SMITH, the 2011 Lothians Championship runner-up, has turned professional and hopes to work his way up the paid ranks in the United States.
Lothians Championship runner-up, has turned professional and hopes to work his way up the paid ranks in the United States.
The Marriott Dalmahoy man believes there are more opportunities for a rookie pro in the US, where he has experience of playing during a stint at Western Carolina University.
“Im basing myself in Orlando as the NGA Winter Series is located around that area,” said Smith.
“One of the reasons I’ve chosen the NGA over the developmental tours on this side of the pond are that there are tournaments all year round. The purses at the tournaments are also bigger than in Europe so there is more money lower down the leaderboard. They have a great relationship with the web.com tour so there are plenty of opportunities to qualify for bigger events.”
Smith fell at the final hurdle in his bid to become Lothians champion two years ago, losing to Alan Anderson from Bruntsfield Links in the title showdown.
“I looked into the EuroPro Tour but the route through to the next level is tougher than NGA plus its only during the summer months,” he added.
“The NGA also has incentives regarding Q-School.
Glory within Gullane’s grasp
GULLANE will be odds-on for the title in this season’s East Lothian Winter League if defending champions North Berwick lose at struggling Longniddry this weekend.
A 3.5-1.5 home victory over Longniddry made it four wins out of four for Gullane and, at the same time, left the visitors without a point from three outings.
It’s not what Paul Gibson had in mind for his Longniddry side and now they take on a North Berwick team clinging to Gullane’s coattails following a 3.5-1.5 win at the Glen. Four out of the five ties there went to the last green, where three North Berwick pairs delivered winning birdies.
In the other Division One match, Musselburgh earned a share of the spoils at Kilspindie to leave both teams with work on their hands to avoid relegation.
Dunbar beat Royal Musselburgh to cement their position as title favourites In Division 2, where Gifford knocked Haddington off top spot with a 4.5-0.5 win.
It would have been a whitewash if the brother and sister pairing of Lesley and Keith Nicholson hadn’t salvaged a half from three down with four to play.