Wright ready to go out of Africa

Rowlands Castle's Darren Wright will be bidding for Challenge Tour glory when he makes his pro debut at the Muthaiga Golf Club, Nairobi

Rowlands Castle's Darren Wright will be bidding for Challenge Tour glory when he makes his pro debut at the Muthaiga Golf Club, Nairobi

Scott Gregory

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Darren Wright believes he can use past experiences to make the most of his Challenge Tour debut.

The Rowlands Castle man starts his pro career among the movers and shakers on the second tier of European golf today as he tees up in the Barclays Kenya Open.

The 23-year-old expects to get at least five starts on the Challenge Tour this season after his performance at Qualifying School soon after turning professional.

But he is looking back to his superb Brabazon Trophy success in 2010 at Hoylake in the amateur ranks as he aims to cash in on the fast and dry conditions in Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi.

Wright said: ‘I’m feeling great and looking forward to it.

‘The course is very burned out and the ground is very hard, but I performed well in similar conditions at the Brabazon in 2010 so I’m confident I can plot my way round and do well.

‘My practice round went well. I hit some good shots and feel I have made the most out of my time before the tournament.

‘I’ve spent a lot of time on and around the greens as the grass is very different to what we have at home and it takes a bit of getting used to.

‘The greens are a little grainy and undulating so I’ve been working hard with the putter and, hopefully, that will pay off.

‘I’ve been working hard these past three months with my coach and in the gym, so I’m just excited to be playing in a bigger event.

‘I will just try to play my own game and be nice and consistent, which should be good enough to do well.’

Wright looked in good shape recently at the EPD Tour event in Morocco, only to be forced out with a back injury.

But he has since fully recovered and is ready to go for the steady approach – rather than chase birdies and play high-risk shots.

‘I’ve just been working on becoming a bit more consistent,’ he said.

‘I realised at European Tour School last year that my game is good enough – I just need to be consistently good enough all the time.

‘I am very confident in what my coach and I have been working on.

‘I feel ready for the 2012 season and I just want to get started.

‘If I can just play like I did in Morocco, play my own game, play sensible golf, be patient and hole a few more putts than everyone else, the results will look after themselves!’

While Wright feels he is in good form and looking to take advantage, Sam Hutsby’s disappointing start to the new campaign continues.

He missed his second successive cut on the European Tour last week after a nightmare opening round at the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco.

The Lee-on-the-Solent man had two sevens and a nine on his card as he signed for a 12-over-par 84 on day one, with a back nine of 44.

Hutsby hit back with a gutsy two-under-par 70 in the second round – which included two eagles on the back nine – but the damage had already been done and he missed the cut by some distance.

The 23-year-old, however, has the chance to pick up his first cheque on his return to European golf’s elite at the Sicilian Open, which also starts today.

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