Darren Wright is hopeful a meeting with one of his golfing heroes can inspire him to Challenge Tour success this week.
The 23-year-old professional from Rowlands Castle met Ryder Cup star Justin Rose at a Tesco charity day at RAC Club, Epsom earlier this week and thinks a snippet of useful advice could help him prosper.
Wright, who has been awarded an invitation to the English Challenge – which started today at Stoke by Nayland in Essex, is determined to land a big pay-day in only his fourth start on European golf’s second tier.
And after making two halfway cuts out of three, Wright is in optimistic mood after his short pep talk from Rose.
Wright explained: ‘Justin is with the same management company as me, so I got introduced to him and it was great to meet someone who I have looked up to for a long time.
‘It was only a quick chat but he’s a very nice guy, asked me about what tour I was playing on and that kind of thing.
‘He did pass on one piece of advice and said “don’t concentrate on results, just keep practising, keep making sure you get better every day and the results will come”.
‘I hadn’t thought about it from that perspective too much but it made sense.
‘Him being a Hampshire lad, he’s always someone I’ve admired.
‘The top players in the world are usually from elsewhere but he’s good inspiration for players like me because he’s from down the road.
‘Growing up as a junior and playing in a lot of the junior opens around the region, people would say I could follow in Justin Rose’s footsteps.
‘But he’s one of the top players in the world and if I can do half as well as he has, I will be happy with that.’
While Wright missed the cut in his last Challenge Tour event in Austria – after a last-minute call-up – he feels better prepared this time around.
He said: ‘It’s a high standard at this level and it wasn’t ideal preparation for that one.
‘But you can’t play well in every tournament.
‘I feel like I’m playing nicely, though.
‘I’m swinging well and striking the ball nicely.
‘It’s just about putting scores together – that’s been the problem recently.
‘A few bogeys have crept in out of nowhere and there hasn’t been a set pattern.
‘The recent weather hasn’t helped too much but thankfully it’s a bit better now.
‘The course has really dried up just from a few days of good weather but I tend to play better when the sun is out so hopefully that bodes well for this tournament.’