Ablett States Euro intentions

James Ablett
James Ablett
Harry Ellis. Picture: PA Images

Ellis crashes out of US Amateur Championship

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James Ablett will bid to keep his game ticking over in USA this winter as he targets a shot at Qualifying School next season.

The 36-year-old left-hander finished the season in fine form as he claimed the Hampshire PGA order of merit and was third on the South Region money list with 12 wins to his name this season.

But the Lee-on-the-Solent man is heading to Arizona later this month and will jet off to Florida next year to beat the English weather and ensure his game is in top shape for a run at earning a European Tour card in a year’s time.

Ablett said: ‘Since September, I have probably played some of the best golf I have ever played.

‘I found something – particularly with my putting – that has seen my strike rate from 20 feet and inside go through the roof.

‘My long game has improved a bit but I was struggling to find consistency with my putting during the early part of the season.

‘I really feel it has given me some momentum for next season so I want to stay on top of it as much as I possibly can. So I’m heading off to Arizona and Palm Springs and then Orlando next year.

‘In March and April of next year, I will play in Orlando and then Harbour Town in South Carolina.

‘But this winter will be the most time I have ever spent in the USA.

‘It will mean I’m away for about five weeks but I can earn some money and play in some good weather.

‘With a bit of luck, it will mean I can get a flying start to next season.’

Ablett has attempted to earn his card via Qualifying School in the past, reaching the second stage twice.

But he admitted it’s a balance in paying the associated expense and chasing his dream of a place on the European Tour.

He said: ‘It’s around £4,500 out of my own pocket to go for Qualifying School, so it’s a lot of money. But I will do that for definite next year.

‘I will also play a few more events on Euro Pro Tour because I’m exempt for some of the pre-qualifying. There are some good tournaments.

‘But it’s always a balance in trying to make a profit on what you have to pay out and what you can earn.’