Wright plots big season

Darren Wright. Picture: Europro Tour
Darren Wright. Picture: Europro Tour
Harry Ellis. Picture: PA Images

Ellis crashes out of US Amateur Championship

  • Local golfer works hard to save up for new season
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Darren Wright insists he has no intentions of walking away from his dreams of professional golf.

The 26-year-old, from Rowlands Castle, has found it hard to make a decent living from the game since leaving the amateur ranks nearly four years ago and has been working in his father’s property development business over the winter to help fund another season.

I’m not going to give up because I know I am good enough

Darren Wright

Wright is expecting to play in every event on the PGA EuroPro Tour this term – the third tier of professional tournament golf – with a view to a top-five finish and passage to the Challenge Tour.

But he admits it is a constant battle to cover the expenses and chase prize money as he shot down rumours he was walking away from the sport.

Wright said: ‘I’m going to do a full season on the EuroPro Tour.

‘I’m not going to give up because I know I am good enough.

‘I know I will get there but it’s a slower journey for me than for some others.

‘The big thing that is holding me back is the money side of things.

‘Of course, doing something else has crossed my mind at times, especially when you have a bad week. I had pretty much run out of money by the end of last season, so I got to a point where I couldn’t afford to play in the next tournament.

‘I wasn’t saying I was giving up but that is the harsh reality.

‘So I do realise this year is a big year for me.

‘If I don’t push on and make a bit of money, then I have obviously got to have a look at it again. But I’ve tried not to worry about things too much.

‘I’ve just got to focus on the season and, if I play as well as I know I can play, the money will look after itself.’

Although TaylorMade help him with equipment, without a main sponsor, Wright has been saving up the cash over the winter to give himself the best chance of rising through the ranks.

And after a reasonable campaign on the EuroPro Tour last year saw him finish in 43rd place, he is looking for improvement when the new season kicks off in May.

‘I had a handful of top-10 finishes, including missing out on a victory at Astbury Hall by one stroke,’ said Wright.

‘I was pretty close in a few tournaments and put myself in contention but didn’t cross the finishing line.

‘It gives me a lot of confidence for this year. I have played most of the courses and I feel like I’m in a good position going into the season.

‘I feel like I just need that one big result.

‘Everyone believes they can do it but I don’t think anyone is ever 100-per-cent confident that you can do it until you actually have done it.’

Wright also feels he has given himself even more opportunity to succeed after joining Golf at Goodwood as an ambassador and ending his long association with Rowlands Castle.

He added: ‘I’ve been there about 20 years but it’s time to work what is best for me moving forward.

‘It’s tough but I hope we can come to an agreement where I can still go down there and play because I have a lot of friends there who have helped in the past.

‘I’ve played at Goodwood a lot but the whole place has everything.

‘They’ve got all the facilities you need and it’s the whole package.

‘I felt I wanted to be a part of it.’