Darren’s Wright on course

Darren Wright celebrated victory at the final EDP Tour Championship event of the season
Darren Wright celebrated victory at the final EDP Tour Championship event of the season
Scott Gregory. Picture: Andrew Griffin

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Rookie Darren Wright toasted more success on the professional circuit and admitted: I feel at home in my new surroundings.

Wright, who only turned pro last month, has made an impressive impact since turning his back on the amateur ranks.

A tie for first place saw him breeze through the opening round of Qualifying School, while last weekend saw the Rowlands Castle ace secure his first EDP Tour event win.

The former England amateur international secured victory at Germany’s Hofgut Praforst Golf Club by one shot after seeing off the challenge of Dutchman Reinier Saxton.

Sixteen birdies and one eagle over the three rounds saw Wright post a final score of 14-under par and net a cheque of 7,000 euros from only his fourth pro event.

The praise his game has received since will provide a major confidence boost as he bids to negotiate his way past the second round of Qualifying School.

It will also ease the pressure the transition to the professional ranks often brings.

But according to Wright, he’s yet to feel the stress of such a move.

Instead, he believes the amateur game can prove more demanding.

‘It feels pretty good to get another win under my belt,’ said Wright.

‘I really didn’t know what to expect going into the pro game but I’ve made a good start.

‘I haven’t been thrown in at the deep end in terms of Challenge Tour or European Tour stuff.

‘But the EDP Tour standard is very good, while the conditions have been just perfect for me.

‘As an amateur, the conditions aren’t always the best.

‘More often than not you’re playing on links courses with swirling winds and having to grind out results.

‘But from what I’ve seen so far as a pro, the conditions have been decent.

‘There’s been decent courses, decent greens and perfect conditions, which I seem to have thrived on.

‘I’ve played four events so far and won two of them.

‘That’s been nice and has been like a weight off my shoulders.

‘As an amateur you are constantly worrying about EGU selection and the Walker Cup, and until I turned professional I didn’t realise how big a pressure that was on my game.

‘Two or three weeks before the announcement of a team, you’d perhaps try too hard and that has a major affect.

‘It’s a weight off my shoulders not having that kind of pressure anymore and I feel my game is benefiting. It’s nice to play well and to get the rewards.’

Wright thought his first pro title was going to slip from his grasp after seeing Saxton surge ahead on the final round in Hunfeld, Fulda.

Both started their final rounds on nine-under par but a superb showing from the Dutchman on the front nine saw him sail into a three-shot lead.

Momentum began to swing back in Wright’s favour on the inward nine, however, with an eagle on the 13th proving decisive for the former Brabazon Trophy winner.

He said: ‘After the front nine he was something like five under and I thought “blimey, I’m heading for second place”.

‘But I just kept plodding along and eagled the 13th and got one back.

‘That gave me confidence and momentum going into the next three and I managed to push on.

‘He then started to realise I was coming back and started making mistakes.

‘It was great knowing I had two shots to win on the final green.’