Walker Cup player Jack McDonald is turning professional after joining Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke as a client of International Sports Management (ISM).
The 23-year-old put pen to paper in Glasgow today after holding talks with ISM supremo and former European Tour player, Andrew “Chubby” Chandler.
McDonald will make his professional debut at the final stage of EuroPro Qualifying School at Frilford Heath next week. He then hopes to split his time between the EuroPro Tour, MENA Tour and Challenge Tour in the year ahead.
“I’ve done a lot in the amateur game now,” said the Kilmarnock (Barassie) player. “I think I’m ready to make the transition and that my game is there so I’m looking to just keep improving.”
ISM has nurtured the careers of Louis Oosthuizen, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Danny Willett, Matt Fitzpatrick and Ben An while McDonald also joins fellow countryman Scott Jamieson and former Walker Cup team-mate Gavin Moynihan as part of the company’s stable.
“There are plenty of great names that have thrived at ISM and the opportunity is there,” added McDonald. “You can’t ask for any more than that and I’ll definitely benefit from working with Chubby and the team.”
McDonald burst on to the scene when he won the Scottish Boys’ Stroke-Play Championship at Ladybank in 2009 at the age of 16.
He reached the semi-finals of the Amateur Championship at Royal Troon in 2012 - the year he was Scottish Amateur Golfer of the Year - before repeating that feat at Carnoustie last year.
A former British Universities’ champion, he was part of two notable team triumphs in 2014, helping Scotland win the European Nations Cup at Sotogrande then tasting Palmer Cup glory with Europe.
Last year, McDonald was in the Scotland side that won the European Team Championship in Sweden before helping Great Britain & Ireland lift the Walker Cup at Royal Lytham, where he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Gordon Cosh, by playing against the Americans in the biennial clash.
Having decided not to try his luck at the European Tour Qualifying School last year, it was believed that McDonald, an applied mathematics graduate from the University of Stirling, was set to play another full season in the amateur ranks.
Indeed, having been out to Australia and South Africa with the Scottish Golf in the early part of the year, he was named last week among seven Scots in the Great Britain & Ireland squad for the St Andrews Trophy this summer.
However, McDonald has now decided to take the plunge into professional waters in time for the third-tier PGA EuroPro Tour swinging into action in mid-May.
“I saw Jack playing at the St Andrews Links Trophy and have been following his progress,” said Chandler.
“He’s got a lot of potential and I’m confident we can help him achieve his dreams in golf.”