Calum Fyfe secures European Tour debut by winning British Masters qualifier

Glaswegian produces brilliant round in Close House shoot-out
Calum Fyfe posted a four-under-par 67 to top the leaderboard in the Betfred British Masters qualifier a Close House in NorthumberlandCalum Fyfe posted a four-under-par 67 to top the leaderboard in the Betfred British Masters qualifier a Close House in Northumberland
Calum Fyfe posted a four-under-par 67 to top the leaderboard in the Betfred British Masters qualifier a Close House in Northumberland

Calum Fyfe is relishing the prospect of making his European Tour debut alongside some of his former Scottish amateur colleagues after winning a qualifier for the upcoming Betfred British Masters.

With just out one spot up for grabs in the event, which will mark the circuit's return after being locked down since March due to Covid-19, the 23-year-old Glaswegian produced a brilliant performance in the 18-hole shoot-out at Close House.

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In windy conditions at the Northumberland venue, where Lee Westwood will be tournament host in a fortnight's time, Fyfe carded a four-under-par 67, finishing birdie-birdie, to win by two shots.

"It is fantastic," he admitted before heading home. "It will be my first European Tour event and I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully I can play well and see what happens.

"I've played in Scottish Open qualifiers in the past, but didn't do that great in any of them. I've always felt I've had the game and it's good to get this chance to test it.

"It's always been my dream to play on the European Tour and I've been to the Scottish Open at both Loch Lomond and Gullane, watching the likes of Phil Mickelson."

Former Amateur champion Bradley Neil shared the early lead on level-par before Englishman Matthew Nixon, the bookmakers' favourite, came in with a 69.

That stood until Fyfe, who won both the Scottish boys' and men's order of merits as an amateur, posted his sparkling effort on the course where Irishman Paul Dunne held off Rory McIlroy to win the British Masters in 2017.

"It felt like the wind was gusting up to 30mph and I played a really solid round of golf," added Fyfe, a Cawder man who played on a winning Great Britain & Ireland boys' team in the 2015 Jacques Leglise Trophy at Royal Dornoch. "It was nothing spectacular with a few birdies and no bogeys.

"I birdied the seventh, 10th, 17th and 18th. With two holes to go, I knew there was a guy behind me on three-under, so I felt I had to get to either four or five-under.

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"I hit it 20 feet short of hole at 18th and rolled it in after making a two-putt birdie at the 17th for a good finish.

"I was waiting for a long time after my round thinking someone might beat me. But I'll enjoy the drive up the road, that's for sure."

Fyfe will now join a Scottish contingent that is set to include Bob MacIntyre, Grant Forrest and Connor Syme as the European circuit makes its return in the first of six UK events being staged behind closed doors.

"It will be disappointing that my European Tour debut is going to be behind closed closed doors, but that's my luck sometimes," he said. "I'd be zoned out anyway, so that's okay.

"I was in the Scottish squads with the likes of Bob, Grant and Connor, even though a couple of them are a little bit older than me.

"Seeing them on the tour is an incentive. It is great to see and It makes you realise that you can push yourself to do it yourself.

"I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and go back there in a fortnight's and play my golf. I won't over-complicate things."

Fyfe has played on the PGA EuroPro Tour over the past couple of seasons, finishing 20th on the third-tier circuit's money-list last year.

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"I had a few chances to win on the EuroPro in my first season as a pro," he said. "In the first of those, I kind of gave it away but learned a lot at the same time.

"Every time I was in that position, I felt I was getting better and it definitely helped me in this instance."

The Scot is part of the Golfing4Life programme, a not-for-profit organisation that was conceived in 2010 to support the development of young golfers.

"Through Bill Curbishley and Jimmy Byers, the co-founders, Golfing4Life have helped me out massively the last couple of years," admitted Fyfe, who has a 16-month old daughter, Luna. "Without their sponsorship, I wouldn't be playing today and I wouldn't have this opportunity.

"My mum doesn't keep well, so we didn't have much money for me to go and play. The guys from Golfing for Life helped massively.

"They help a lot of pros and amateurs, which is brilliant, and it feels great to do this for them."

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