Chris Paisley doesn’t do hard-luck stories and this strength of character will help his cause when he joins Gary Lockerbie at the final stage of European Tour Q School in Spain next month.
Both men lost their cards in the ISPS Handa Perth International at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club at the weekend.
When the 2013 Race to Dubai reached its conclusion in Western Australia, at least as far as the lower echelons of the tour are concerned, Paisley missed out by a meagre £21,293 in winnings.
The 27-year-old from Northumberland could be forgiven for clutching at a straw – he missed eight cuts by one shot. In the end he had to settle for 122nd place in the rankings when, after some late adjustments by the tour, the safety zone was the top 112.
“There is no point in making excuses,” he said. “In the end I fell short. But I learned a lot from my first season and now I have to look forward and get myself as well prepared as possible for qualifying.
“I still feel I have made progress and have had a good year even though I have lost my card. I got around half a dozen late invitations I did not expect to get and I played 31 tournaments in all, which was probably a bit too many. Nobody on tour played more than that.
“That’s what you have to do when you are trying to keep your card and cannot really plan a schedule the way you would like it but there were positives. For instance, this was my third season as a professional and after breaking even the first two years I made a profit this time.”
A former Walker Cup player and Northumberland amateur champion, when representing the Stocksfield club, Paisley won £164,109 during his first season on the tour.
He also earned £30,000 in sponsorship. His expenses were around £100,000.
Having returned from Australia to his parents’ home in Mickley Square for a few days, Paisley left yesterday for a holiday in Johnson City, Tennessee, the home town of his fiancé, Keri Drish. He will return to Northumberland before flying to the six-round Q School at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Girona in time for six days’ preparation before the tournament starts on November 10.
Paisley’s world ranking of 409 means four players born in the North East occupy places in the top 500. The others are Rockliffe Hall’s Graeme Storm (272), Barnard Castle’s Robert Dinwiddie (327) and Penrith’s Lockerbie (460).
Lockerbie finished 141st in the European Tour rankings with winnings of £111,785. Dinwiddie is on the brink of reclaiming his European Tour card, lying 10th on the Challenge Tour with two events to go having won £70,846.
Paisley, Lockerbie and Dinwiddie have some way to go before they can match the total European Tour winnings of former French Open champion Storm – almost £4.4m – and Matfen Hall’s three-time Tour winner Kenneth Ferrie, who totted up £3.5m before losing his card last season.
Ferrie has endured an unproductive season on the Challenge Tour. He is 101st in the standings with winnings of £7,981 from 15 events and has fallen to 1,018th in the world rankings.