Tom Murray: Manchester Evening News
Article posted: 06 September 2018
Having had a taste of of the European Tour I’m more determined than ever to get back there.
The ultimate goal is to get back to the European Tour because, like anyone who has played on it, I believe it’s the place to be.
Every aspect is better, the courses are better and, of course, the prize funds are better. Everyone wants to be there and, having had a taste of it, I’m more determined than ever to get back there.
Having said that, the short-term goal is just to win and I’m not really looking much further than that. This year I’ve been steady and consistent, making a lot of cuts and three top-10 finishes, but because of the way the prize money is divided up I’m not really seeing the results of that in the Order of Merit.
Over the last couple of months, I really have felt on the verge of winning. My game is good enough and I feel I’m very close. I just have to putt well enough at the right time. It can be frustrating when you’re not seeing the results but not for long because I’ve been doing this for five years now and you have to get used to the ups and downs.
They’re smaller tournaments but the Challenge Tour still plays a really varied schedule, from Kenya to China, so the costs can be just the same and we have to keep them down as much as possible, share rental cars, share rooms or houses and cook for each other. Maybe on the European Tour players can afford to be in their own bubble a little bit more but now some of my closest friends are guys on the Challenge Tour.
This year I haven’t really been able to afford a caddy, so I’ve been pulling my own trolley. I think it might help a lot of players to go through that because it gives you that hunger to want to get past it.
We’re at Luton Hoo this week and it’s nice to be playing in England. I’ve got family, friends and my fitness coach coming and it’s probably the only chance they’ll get to come and watch me play this year. It’s a shame for us because there are so many English players on the Challenge Tour.
I don’t know why there aren’t more tournaments here, whether it’s just an issue getting sponsors, but it’s a pity for everybody. The crowds are always amazing, English people love golf and we’ve got so many great courses.
We’ve got lots of good English players and the fact that there were four English lads in the play-off for the European Tour’s Made in Denmark on Sunday shows that.
When I was growing up, 10, 11 or 12 years old, it seemed like there were lots of tournaments in England and you can’t help thinking that kids would benefit from the chance to see more golf in the flesh and be inspired to try the sport.
Tom's column appeared in the Manchester Evening News on Thursday September 6. Tom, Matt Nixon and Haydn McCullen will be appearing once a week in the MEN.