Raymond gets the World Amateur nod

Neil Raymond. Picture: Tom Ward
Neil Raymond. Picture: Tom Ward
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Neil Raymond has set his sights on more elite amateur team golf after his latest taste.

The Corhampton amateur was in the recent Great Britain & Ireland side edged out by just a single point by Europe in the St Andrews Trophy.

But now he is celebrating England selection for the forthcoming Eisenhower Trophy in Turkey in early October – the World Amateur Team Championship.

And the Brabazon Trophy champion is determined to sign off the season in style before switching his attentions to European Tour Qualifying School.

Raymond said: ‘The Eisenhower Trophy is something I have been striving towards.

‘The St Andrews Trophy and the Eisenhower Trophy have been the two events I have been working towards all year and have been on my calendar.

‘Playing in that will be an amazing end to the year.

‘We haven’t won the tournament in a very long time and we will try to change that this year.

‘To represent GB & Ireland was a dream come true in the St Andrews Trophy.

‘Playing in that has made me want to play in the Walker Cup even more than I did before.

‘I’m still going to Tour School because that is what I want to do for the rest of my life and that’s my number one priority.

‘But if I get the chance to play in the Walker Cup at some point, it would be an unbelievable experience.’

Raymond was overlooked by England for the qualification for the European Team Championship in Iceland.

But he believes that acted as extra motivation to get him back into the international frame. He said: ‘You should never expect to get into a team but I felt I was playing well enough and should have been in that team.

‘I wasn’t selected and then won the Brabazon Trophy the next week.

‘Sometimes you just need that kick up the backside to stay motivated and to keep you sharp.’

But Raymond knows he could be turning professional later in the year – if he performs well at Qualifying School.

He said: ‘I will go to Tour School as an amateur and see what happens.

‘If I got a card, I would turn professional. I would be a fool to turn that down if that opportunity came up.’