By Emma Wilkinson
A young professional golfer from Leeds says a late defeat on his home course will only spur him on to try and win the new English Tour.
Nick McCarthy, 25, seized the lead on the first day of play at the tournament at Moortown Golf Club, and was in contention throughout the second day, but ultimately lost the title to Joe Smoothy, 25, after bogeying the last hole.
McCarthy posted a score of four-under-par 67 at the end of day one and would have taken the tournament to a play-off had he managed a birdie on the 18th hole yesterday.
McCarthy said: “We seemed to have all four seasons in one day yesterday which didn’t help my performance and I made a few bad decisions early on which probably let me down. But I was still in with a chance right up to the 18th so I was really disappointed not to win.”
McCarthy, who has lived in Leeds his whole life, has been a member of Moortown Golf Club since he was five years old and admits that there is pressure to succeed on your home course.
He said: “You do feel some pressure because other members of the club expect you to do well, but it is balanced out by the level of confidence that comes with knowing a course well and playing on it all the time.”
“But this defeat will motivate me to go on and play as well as I can in other tournaments and I think I am right up there with a chance of winning the order of merit at the end of the year”, he added.
The two-day tournament at Moortown was only the third event in the calendar of a brand new tour set up by professional golfer, Duncan Carey, 35.
The English Tour, which will have 10 amateur events and 18 professional events this year, launched in March in a bid to develop the talent of early-career golfers around the country.
Carey said: “I decided to set up this tour because I thought there was a need for a tour that was more accessible to people in the north of England, had better technology and used the top courses around the country. Ultimately, I wanted to create a tour that would be player-focused.”
The player on the most points at the end of the year will win the order of merit, which includes, prize money, a number of clothing contracts and a place at the prestigious Robert Rock Academy.
The tour will be returning to Leeds on June 5 for the tournament at Moor Allerton Golf Club.