Manchester Evening News: Haydn McCullen on Q School and 2019
Article posted: 22 November 2018
You have to be disappointed and it feels like a kick in the teeth but there’s a lot I can take from Q School.
Towards the end of the year it’s nice to have a little break but after a week or two you’re just desperate to get out there playing again.
After winning First Stage I didn’t get through Second Stage of European Tour Qualifying School so my year ended at the start of the month and it’s been frustrating.
I played quite steadily at second stage, at El Encin in Madrid, but one bad bit of luck really went against me.
On the second day I was three under par after six holes but lost my ball off the tee on the seventh. We found it a few seconds after the referee had called time on the five minutes you have to look for it and I ended up making a triple bogey.
You have to accept that those breaks can go against you, but even though I bounced back well and birdied the next two holes I ended up missing out by three shots and I feel like I know where those shots went!
You have to be disappointed and it feels like a kick in the teeth but there’s a lot I can take from it.
When I look back on the year, I really got in the swing of things after the first couple of tournaments following my back injury and I’ve shown some good consistency. I’ve been steady, and I can’t actually remember the last time I shot over par.
So, all in all it’s been a decent year, it’s just disappointing not to come away with a card on the Challenge Tour, which is one below the European Tour, because I believe I’d do quite well there, especially if I keep improving.
One of the big things I’ve learnt in 2018 is just to keep going. When I have a bad start or a bad round, I know I can respond and that’s not something I was always good at in the past. I’m a bit stronger mentally and maybe maturing a little bit at the old age of 22!
My big focus for the next few weeks is working on my game from 150 yards and in. From amateurs to the people at the top of the sport, that’s where you make a good score, making birdies inside that range.
I’m going to structure my practice and make it a lot more focused so that I can improve on those distances and work on everything so that I can have complete trust in the difference between a 125 and 130-yard shot.
Next year, I want at least a Challenge Tour card. I feel like I’ve got a lot more game now so hopefully I can get that done.
Aside from practicing I’ll have a little holiday with my girlfriend Sophie at the start of December and then I’ll get the year going at the Gloria Futures Tour which is run by my manager Chubby Chandler and ISM.
It’s two tournaments at Gloria Golf Hotels and Resorts in Turkey with the chance to practice in between and it’s all-inclusive so I’m already looking forward to it! It’s a great way to start the year.