Fresh from finishing in the top 50 in the Dunhill Links Championship on his pro debut, Liam Johnston is hoping to secure a card for one of Europe’s third-tier circuits in Germany this week.
The 24-year-old is through to the second stage of the European Tour Qualifying School at the beginning of next month after clearing the first hurdle at The Roxburghe, near Kelso, for the second year running.
However, he has also joined the battle for cards on the ProGolf Tour as a back-up, having seen the likes of Chris Robb, a former Scottish Amateur champion who caddied for Johnston in the Dunhill Links, gain valuable experience playing on that circuit over the past couple of years. “I flew to Germany on Monday morning to play in the ProGolf Tour qualifier and I will then head out to Spain early with a few of the boys to get some good prep in before the European Tour Q School starts,” said Johnston, pictured.
The Dumfries man, who graduated with a psychology degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, turned professional on the back of winning both the African Amateur and Scottish Open Stroke-Play Championships this year.
In exactly the start he was looking for in his new career, he birdied the last at Carnoustie in his third round to make the 54-hole cut in the Dunhill Links before closing with a 68 at St Andrews to finish joint 47th, earning around £15,500.
“It was a great week,” admitted Johnston. “The goal was to make the cut and take it from there and to do exactly that was really pleasing.
“I was especially pleased with my finish at Carnoustie and it was really enjoyable playing the Old Course on Sunday in front of the crowds. I really can’t thank Dunhill enough for giving me the chance to start my professional career in that event.”
Having entered as an amateur, Balmore’s Christopher Maclean is also in the field for the ProGolf Tour Qualifying School, which concludes with a 36-hole event at Golf Club Paderborner Land in Salzkotten tomorrow and Friday.