Golf: Charity puts its Trust in Ferrier’s bid for US career

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PAUL Ferrier has received crucial backing from a charitable trust as he bids to follow in Martin Laird’s spike marks by carving out a professional career in the United States.

The Crerar Hotels Trust has stepped in to support Ferrier again, having watched the Baberton player blossom after helping him attend the University of North Carolina. In a first for the trust, it has effectively bought shares in Ferrier, who has returned to Charlotte to play in the paid ranks rather than 
trying his luck in Europe.

Trustee John Williams said: “Our relationship with Paul was initiated when he was offered the chance to go to the States on a golf scholarship, but discovered the cost at the start was going to be beyond him.

“We like to make awards that can help make a difference, so we matched what Baberton, Paul’s club, raised for him pound for pound. Between us, we got him off to America.”

His spell in Charlotte certainly helped Ferrier, who won the Scottish Boys’ Championship at Dunbar in 2007. Earlier this year, he reached the semi-finals of the Amateur Championship, then, in his last appearance as an amateur, he helped Scotland win the Home Internationals for the first time in six years.

The only member of the side to have turned professional so far, the 23-year-old is receiving further backing from the trust as he bids to emulate Laird, a two-time PGA Tour winner, by working his way up the ladder in America.

Williams added: “Paul did well as an amateur and, on top of that, he’s a very nice and well-respected young man. He was looking for funds to cover his first year’s expenses.

“We’ve decided to do something totally different for us by investing in him. I won’t pretend it’s a huge amount, but it’s a gamble as there’s a chance we won’t get a return. Paddy Crerar, the chief executive of Crerar Hotels, is right behind the decision to support Paul, having seen him develop since we became involved with him four years ago.”

Having failed at his first attempt at the PGA Tour last month, Ferrier is now aiming to secure a foothold lower down the ladder for his rookie season.

“I have a big 2013 planned due to the PGA Tour recently buying the Canadian and Latin American Tours,” he said. “I will be doing a lot of travelling to try to qualify for those tours which will help me towards playing on the Tour and then on the PGA Tour. My season will begin again in January and will be pretty hectic from then on.”

Ferrier described the trust’s support so far as “critical” and is determined to repay them. He added: “Investing in a young professional golfer is very risky, especially for a charity, so I was very fortunate to be involved with an organisation like theirs.”