'Dismayed' Kerr fears for future as PGA trainee

MARK Kerr, one of the two players banned from competing on the Tartan Tour for failing to comply with the PGA's training rules, is worried he won't be able to complete the programme after having his name tarnished.

The 28-year-old from Edinburgh, who has been suspended along with David Orr, the Scottish champion, until 1 July after failing to work the 30 hours per week in a golf shop required as part of the training to become a PGA professional, is "dismayed" with the action and says he can't understand the severity of his punishment.

With Dalmahoy's director of golf, Alan Tait, having been fined 1,500 for his part in the events that led to Kerr being hauled before a disciplinary panel, the player now fears it could be difficult to find another club professional willing to take him on and enable him to complete his training.

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"I'm upset about the ban because it has made me out to be a cheat, and that certainly isn't the case – there was nothing malicious whatsoever about the events that have led to this," said Kerr, who finished fourth in last season's Northern Open at Spey Valley.

"There was no ill intention whatsoever yet I'm now in limbo and my worry is that no-one will want to employ me and give me the chance to finish my PGA training due to the fact I've not exactly been painted in a good light by the press coverage over the past few days."

Kerr, who entered the training programme during a brief spell at Bathgate, said he had been due to take up a position in August at Dalmahoy, where he played as an amateur, only for that to fall through at the last minute.

"I signed a contract on 1 August with a view to starting a few weeks later but a member of staff who'd said they were leaving changed their mind and Alan (Tait] said he was sorry but he couldn't do anything about that and he'd let the PGA know what had happened," added Kerr.

In addition to being fined, Tait has been advised that he should resign from his position on the PGA Scottish Region Committee but Kerr, who is now working in his family pub – the Canny Man's in Morningside – to earn some money, believes his situation has been blown out of proportion in comparison to Orr's.

"I'm stunned that my ban is similar to his, especially when you take into account the fact David won the British Assistants' Championship back in 2002," added Kerr. "They were trying to make out I was a touring professional yet, if I was breaking the rules, it was literally only for a matter of weeks.

"It's not as though I've been on the Challenge Tour and come back to the Scottish circuit. I'm not a touring professional – I started the PGA training as soon as I turned professional.

"I was dismayed when I got the letter from the PGA, and it is clear that David and myself have obviously upset someone."