Wright keen to take up the Challenge

Darren Wright, from Rowlands Castle, who will be competing for the Selborne Salver at Blackmoor GC
Darren Wright, from Rowlands Castle, who will be competing for the Selborne Salver at Blackmoor GC
Scott Gregory. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Darren Wright will get around six Challenge Tour starts this season after his efforts at Qualifying School.

The Rowlands Castle man turned professional towards the end of last year after an impressive amateur career.

And he came through two rounds of the gruelling race for a European Tour card to make it to the final stage.

While he bowed out at the four-round cut in Spain, his performance now entitles him to a category 12 membership, which should earn him half-a-dozen tournament opportunities in the second tier of European golf.

And with his place assured on the Europro, EPD and Alps tours, Wright is looking forward to boosting his reputation as an emerging young professional.

He said: ‘Tour School didn’t work out exactly how I wanted it but it’s still going to be a good year.

‘I didn’t get to final stage just for the experience but I have got a Challenge Tour ranking out of it and will get a fair few starts out of it.

‘I got something out of it but just not as much as I wanted.

‘I’ve got a category 12 membership on the Challenge Tour.

‘You never quite know how many events you will get but that entitled someone to play in about six events with the same category last year.

‘My management company can also get me in a few, so I will get a decent amount of Challenge Tour starts.’

The Challenge Tour campaign kicks off in India later this month.

But it does not stage a second event until Kenya in March, before the campaign really gets into full swing in the summer months.

So Wright must be patient for the UK-based Europro Tour and also select the occasional events on the other feeder tours, while keeping a check on the outgoing expenses to make a living.

He said: ‘You have to weigh it up. At some tournaments, you can win more money.

‘But if you have to pay a lot of money to get there and stay there, it isn’t worth it.

‘The Challenge Tour starts with one event in India and another in Kenya. If I get in with my ranking, then great.

‘I’m allowed to play in every event on the EPD Tour and the Alps Tour and I will play a couple of events in those.

‘I think I will play mainly on the Europro but it doesn’t start until April, so I’ve got a bit of time to work on a few things.

‘Then, if I finish in the top five of the Europro, I will get a Challenge Tour card but I can also go to Qualifying School and hopefully get a European Tour card.

‘I’ve got a couple of opportunities to open up some more doors – I’ve just got to take them.’