Wright sets sights on big EuroPro finish

Darren Wright. Picture: HotelPlanner.com Championship, Frank Coppi/Europro Tour
Darren Wright. Picture: HotelPlanner.com Championship, Frank Coppi/Europro Tour
Scott Gregory. Picture: Andrew Griffin

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Darren Wright may just allow himself an extra treat if he carries off the biggest payday of his professional career this week.

The Portsmouth-based professional heads into the season-ending EuroPro Tour event leading the money list with more than £28,000 to his name after an outstanding campaign on the third tier of European golf.

The former Rowlands Castle man claimed one victory and a host of top-10 finishes and is understandably among the favourites to carry off the biggest EuroPro title of the year.

Wright – who is now attached to Golf at Goodwood – has produced consistent form all year and has already guaranteed his promotion to the Challenge Tour for next season as he cannot finish outside of the top five in the standings.

But he could yet finish the season in style if he can see off his rivals in the Matchroom Sport Tour Championship at the salubrious surroundings of Desert Springs on the south east coast of Spain.

With a top prize of £20,000 up for grabs and a prize pot of nearly £90,000, a field of just 60 will battle it out over 54 holes in the event which starts today.

Wright has certainly worked hard to make good earnings this year, but after putting in the hours for his father’s property development firm last winter, he has not allowed himself a spending spree as he funds his career without huge input from sponsors.

He said: ‘I’m looking forward to playing in this one.

‘There is a lot of prize money at stake but it is top-heavy so there is big money for the win and then it drops off quite sharply.

‘I’m still thinking about how to pay for my golf next season and that hasn’t changed.

‘But it’s nice to have that little bit of a buffer in the bank, rather than be in the overdraft all the time.

‘I certainly haven’t gone crazy.

‘I had to buy myself a new car because the other one blew up.

‘But it was a second-hand one. I definitely couldn’t go for a Lamborghini or anything flash!

‘I’m looking to do well but the big motivation is preparing for Q School the week after.

‘I’ve already got my place on Challenge Tour but if I can get on to the European Tour, there might be some more interest from sponsors.

‘At the moment, I have to be prepared for having to fund it all on my own next season so I have to be a bit careful. If I do well, I might buy myself something nice though.’

There is more than just cash acting as a motivation with several players knowing that victory could yet catapult them into the top-five, which secures a Challenge Tour place.

Among them is Lee-on-the-Solent’s James Ablett, who sealed his place in the entry list despite playing just five events this season.

His haul of £3,433 was enough for 54th place but he is well capable of producing the goods when it matters.