STEVE Surry admits teeing up in next week’s HotelPlanner.com Championship on home turf at Cumberwell Park will probably feel a bit strange.
The Trowbridge professional will be among a field of 168 doing battle at the £40,000 EuroPro Tour event, the biggest hosted by the club near Bradford on Avon which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
The 32-year-old, who holds playing privileges on South Africa’s Sunshine Tour, is based at Cumberwell and has tasted victory there on the regional Jamega Tour in 2012.
But Surry admits there may be a few more nerves than usual when he starts his bid for the £10,000 first prize next week.
“When I played the Jamega Tour events there, I found it a bit strange and I’m sure it will be the same this time,’’ he said.
“Quite often, I’m used to playing just a bit of a knockaround there and you might shoot six or seven under on those days, but it’s a tournament and I’m not quite sure what to expect.
“I’ll probably be a bit nervous this time and it will be nice to try and get off to a good start.’’
His commitments in South Africa at the start and end of this year means the tournament is an important one for Surry as he seeks playing priviliges on the EuroPro Tour – effectively the third tier of European golf – next year.
“You have to play in five EuroPro events to qualify for their Order of Merit and I haven’t been able to do that because I was in South Africa and couldn’t play in their tour school,’’ he added.
“If you finish in the top ten (in a tournament) you get into the event the following week.’’
Fellow Cumberwell professionals Matt Swales and Charlie Cossins are also taking part in the event, along with Cumberwell teaching pros Ben Lloyd and Alex Blewett and club general manager and Wiltshire amateur Ali James.
Surry said: “It would be nice to see a few people out watching (the event) because there aren’t many opportunities to watch an event like this in the south west.”
The event will also be televised in a later highlights show by Sky Sports.
Following Monday’s Pro-Am, the three-round tournament gets under way on Wednesday, with the top 50 and ties contesting the final 18 holes next Friday.
Admission is free for spectators to watch the action.
Updates from next week’s tournament at Cumberwell at wiltshiretimes.co.uk/sport, on Twitter @WTSport and in next week’s Wiltshire Times
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