Burden eyes 2012 breakthrough year

Toby Burden
Toby Burden
Scott Gregory. Picture: Andrew Griffin

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Toby Burden insists 2012 has to be his breakthrough season.

The 24-year-old Hayling Golf Club assistant pro kicked off his Europro Tour campaign yesterday at a soggy Wensum Valley in Norfolk for the Motocaddy Masters.

Burden reached the turn in four over par as the rain hammered down.

Rowlands Castle’s Darren Wright, meanwhile, carded a one over par 73 as one of the earlier starters.

But while play was suspended early in the afternoon, Burden remains optimistic that he will make his mark this year.

Burden said: ‘Some of the course is under water so it’s pretty bad.

‘It’s not exactly the ideal start to the season!

‘I was hitting it really well but the greens were so wet that I was struggling to get the pace of them.

‘I was four over par and I’ve only hit one bad shot.

‘But I definitely see this as a breakthrough season.

‘I played last year and had a few wobbly moments, but I’ve worked hard on my swing and especially my short game over the winter.

‘I spent a lot of time with Mark Treleaven at Hayling.

‘I’m confident in the way I’m hitting it and I’m keen to get going this season.’

Burden ended up in 42nd place on the Europro standings last term.

But he is looking for a major improvement in a bid to climb on to the more lucrative Challenge Tour.

He said: ‘I need to finish in the top five on the Europro to get on to the Challenge Tour and that is my main goal this season.

‘If you win a couple of events, you are almost there.

‘Last year, I just about broke even. I had a couple of decent finishes but in the three rounds, there would always be a bad one in there.

‘It was mainly down to my short game not being sharp enough, so I have worked on that.

‘I’ve done a lot of work on my short game over the past few months, which seems to be paying off.

‘Now I want to be more consistent and I want to get that first win under my belt.

‘I hope I’ve still got time on my side but you never know!’

Burden’s hopes of making the step up could also be boosted with an imminent agreement with Red Golf Management.

He said: ‘We’re still in talks at the moment so nothing is official.

‘But they have helped me out already.

‘Hopefully, they can get me a few starts on the Challenge Tour this season.’