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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Paisley aims to climb up the Tour rankings

MICKLEY Square’s golfing star Chris Paisley has insisted his best is yet to come after making the European Tour cut for the first time this year.

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Chris Paisley is keen to have top 10 finishes to guarantee his Tour card next year.

The 26-year-old finished joint 22nd in the recent Africa Open to jump up the Race to Dubai leaderboard, but he is targeting the higher places in the upcoming tournaments.

Full of confidence after recording a five-under total of 283, Paisley is improving with every event and he is sure he can make more of a mark on the big stage.

He said: “It was good to finally make the cut because I had been pretty disappointed with the way I had been playing for the most part.

“But I finally got a good tournament in. I chipped and putted well, so I was definitely happy with that.

“I’ve got some money on the board, got my game where it should be and it has given me a lot of confidence for the rest of the tournaments.

“I aim to make as many cuts as I can but, if I am to keep my card for next year, I need a few high finishes so my goal is now, after my first cut, to push on and get in the top five or top 10!”

While on the Challenge Tour last year, Paisley was invited to compete in the Madeira Islands Open on the European Tour and finished joint 22nd.

In addition, he made the cut in his Tour debut in December in the Nelson Mandela Championship when he finished joint 39th in the rain affected two round tournament.

But he then went on a run of five missed cuts, causing him to tear his hair out on occasions.

“I missed out in the Abu Dhabi Championship by one stroke and missed the next couple by one or two shots, so that was pretty frustrating.

“I felt like I was playing poorly but at least I was always around the cut mark.

“But I feel my game has got better each week, and last week was the first time it showed. My game is on its way back and it is nice to move up the leaderboard.”

With Paisley now lining up alongside some of the best golfers on the planet on a regular basis, it is understandable that he was initially fazed by the step up to the Tour.

The extra attention the stars bring with them was something new to the former Stocksfield Golf Club member and current Close House Hotel touring professional.

But now that he has learned to deal with it, his game has settled down significantly.

He said: “The European Tour has been brilliant as you get to play with really good players on great courses in nice locations, so that has been a lot of fun.

“The first week in Abu Dhabi, Rory McIlroy was warming up next to me and he had about 200 people behind him!

“And even though you keep telling yourself it is just the same sport so don’t be distracted by the big crowds, it is hard to do that. While it is definitely tougher competition, it is not like everybody is Tiger Woods or that there are 150 Rory McIlroys, so I can definitely compete with them all.”

Paisley is currently back in Tynedale before heading back to South Africa for the Tshwane Open at Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate on Thursday. Following that, he will make the most of a three week break before the next run of tournaments kicks off.

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