Greig Hutcheon feels 'cool' to be teeing up on DP World Tour over four decades

Lots of things have changed since Greig Hutcheon last played on the European Tour. The name, for starters, as it’s now called the DP World Tour, of course, and even simple things like booking a practice time.

“I had no idea about an online portal,” said the 49-year-old, laughing, of the system players now use and was completely new to him when he turned up at the tournament office for this week’s Betfred British Masters at The Belfry on Monday.

“Stuff like that is very confusing for people of my age,” he added with another hearty chuckle, “but I managed to book a practice time eventually!”

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Hutcheon, who is the professional at Torphins Golf Club in Aberdeenshire, is still pinching himself about being among 12 Scots teeing up in an event being hosted by Danny Willett for the second year running at the Sutton Coldfield venue.

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He secured the opportunity by winning The PGA Play-Offs at Slieve Russell in Ireland last Friday, with six more starts to come on the circuit this season for the three-time Scottish PGA champion in a brilliant reward.

“It was a wee bit of a shock to the system at my age,” admitted Hutcheon. “I was planning at the end of this year to have a go at the seniors’ stuff, so I’ve given myself a pretty ruthless environment to get ready for that.”

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A three-time winner on the Challenge Tour, the Aberdonian made his debut on the main tour in the 1998 Heineken Classic in Australia. His best finish in 105 starts was eighth in the Scottish PGA Championship at Gleneagles the following year.

“Though I’ve never been a stalwart out here, someone mentioned to me the other day that when I tee off on Thursday, I will have played on the European Tour in four different decades, which is quite cool,” he declared.

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Torhins Golf Club professionals Greig Hutcheon shows off the trophy after winning The PGA Play-Offs in Ireland last Friday: Picture: The PGA

To put that into context, Bob MacIntyre was just one and the Hojgaard twins - Nicolai and Rasmus - hadn’t even been born when Hutcheon started out. The only downside to that is there are very few familiar faces around these days.

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“I bumped into David Drysdale, who is an old room-mate, when I arrived to register and set up that practice round with him,” he said. “Ian Garbutt, who used to play, is on the Callaway truck now and Raymie Russell is on the Nike truck. But it’s fantastic to be playing in some lovely events this year and I can drive to most of them, which is great.”

Praise was heaped on Hutcheon for securing his chances to take on the new wave of talent on social media. While grateful, it largely went unnoticed by the man himself.

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“It was my son’s 12th birthday at the weekend, so I didn’t really have time to get back to people,” he said. “I also have to be honest and admit that I hardly ever use social media. I tend to find my phone down the back of the couch these days (laughing).”

As was the case when achieving the feat in the Scottish Open in 2015 and the BMW PGA Championship the following the year, making the cut is Hutcheon’s target this week. “I purely still play because I love the game and still really enjoy it,” he said, enthusiastically.

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