Capital golfer Neil Fenwick is set to relaunch his career as a touring professional after landing a “big sponsorship” on the back of a recent Tartan Tour triumph.
The 30-year-old cut back his playing schedule this season after returning to Dunbar to work for his old boss Jacky Montgomery as he started to feel a financial pinch following a spell on the PGA EuroPro Tour.
He was actually thinking he might have to give up playing altogether next season but that possibility was turned on its head as he showed his talent when winning the Carnegie Invitational at Skibo Castle.
“To be honest, I was getting to the stage where I just couldn’t afford it, so I was thinking I might have to pack it in,” admitted Fenwick, who was a defender on Dunfermline’s books before pursuing a career in golf.
“But one of the Skibo Castle members has been kind enough to give a big sponsorship that is going to allow me to play on both the MENA Tour and the PGA EuroPro Tour for the next two years.
“I’m absolutely delighted as I feel my game is more than good enough to compete. The sponsorship starts next month and it is going to allow me to do things properly.”
Fenwick was speaking after he carded a three-under-par 67 in the opening round of the M&H Logistics Scottish PGA Championship over the King’s Course at Gleneagles.
That left him sitting joint-third but five shots off the lead after defending champion Chris Kelly spreadeagled the field in the Tartan Tour’s flagship event with a stunning first-day effort in the autumn sunshine in Perthshire.
“It’s better than I expected as I have not been playing much this year and didn’t know what to expect, really,” admitted 41-year-old Kelly after carding two eagles and five birdies.
Paul McKechnie (Braid Hills Golf Centre) matched Fenwick’s score, as did former European Tour player Jamie McLeary. Swanston’s James McGhee also started promisingly with a 68, one better than Andrew Oldcorn, but two-time winner Gareth Wright had to settle for a 72.