Season to remember for Sheringham professional Will Harrold
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012
Sheringham professional Will Harrold is looking forward to a well-earned rest after a breakthrough year that has seen him play almost non-stop since the middle of April.
Harrold has represented his home club with distinction over the course of seven gruelling months, winning three professional tournaments while picking up prize money of around £58,000. At the beginning of 2014 he was preparing for his rookie season on the UK-based Europro Tour and hoping to take his first small steps towards carving out a career for himself as a tournament pro.
As the end of the year looms he is now an established member of the second tier Challenge Tour, having fallen only just short in a brave attempt to earn a place alongside the game's superstars on the main European circuit.
It has been an exciting adventure, with a lot more ups than downs, and now Harrold, 25, is preparing to re-charge his batteries back home in Norfolk – although there is no way the clubs will remain packed away for too long.
'Missing the cut at Tour School was a disappointing way to finish but overall it has been a really good year for me,' said Harrold, who squeezed 22 tournaments into his hectic schedule (four Europro Tour and 18 Challenge Tour) as well as a number of smaller events.
'I would certainly have taken winning three events, including one on the Challenge Tour at the beginning of the year. It was a tough schedule, and I felt it a bit in the middle part of the season. I was playing pretty much week in, week out – and as I only missed four cuts on the Challenge Tour that was a lot of golf. It's not only the four rounds,there's a practice round and the pro-am as well so my fitness was certainly put to the test. There was also a lot of travelling as well.
'Funnily enough it got easier towards the end of the year – I think trying to qualify for the European Tour through the Order of Merit spurred me on.'
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Harrold, whose schedule took him to such far flung locations as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Oman and China, had two opportunities to claim a European Tour card - and it was twice a case of so near and yet so far. Needing to finish in the top 15 of the Challenge Tour's Order of Merit he ended up 45th – but that only tells half the story. His breakthrough win at the Belgian Open at Cleydael in June, which followed two victories on the Europro Tour - set him up nicely for a crack at qualification, and he had a chance to secure it in October at the Foshan Open in China. Harrold was joint leader after the first two rounds but then fell away over the weekend and eventually had to head to European Tour School in an attempt to earn promotion, where he narrowly failed to make the cut despite a fourth round of 65.
Harrold added: 'I'll take it easy for a few days - but the clubs will soon be out again. It will be a case of putting in the practice and maybe playing a few Norfolk Alliance events - they are always fun. I now have a category 18 rating which means I might get into the occasional European Tour event. I have entered some of the early tournaments so we will just have to see what happens.'