Byrne learning how to handle ‘bad stuff’

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LEARNING how to take the rough with the smooth has been one of the main reasons James Byrne has achieved three positive results over the past few weeks.

On the back of securing cards for both the Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour in South Africa, the Banchory player chalked up a second victory in the professional ranks in Malaysia on Saturday.

It came in the PGM CCM Rahman Putra Masters, an event on the Asian Development Tour and was gained with an impressive closing effort of five-under-par 67 for a winning total of 277.

“I really didn’t know what kind of form I was taking into South Africa, having taken a month off, but the rest seemed to do me good and fortunately I played well there,” said Byrne of his recent purple patch.

“It was great to get my card there, but I really wanted to have another go on the Asian Tour, so I definitely felt the pressure going into last week at Asian Tour Q-School.

“I started with a four-putt for a double-bogey and was five-over after 16 holes and normally would have been getting really down on myself at that point. But I stayed incredibly patient and played the next 32 holes in 17-under, and eventually made it through.

“I think that’s the biggest thing I took from last year and the reason I’m playing better now – just accepting the bad stuff more and persevering. Hopefully I can keep that attitude going throughout the season and for the rest of my life.”

The Northern Open champion, who claimed his latest title by two shots, added: “The win this week was important from a confidence standpoint more than anything else. I’ve always believed that success breeds 
success and winning at any level is always important.

“I’m going to fully commit to the Asian Tour this year as I want to break into that top 60. There is a chance for a few invites in Europe, but my opportunities will be limited, so my focus will be on Asia. My first event will be the Myanmar Open in a couple of weeks’ time, so I hope to continue the good form in that.”