A ROXBURGHE golfer is hoping to use home advantage to win a spot on next year’s European Tour, writes Kenny Paterson.
Ted Innes Ker, son of the Duke of Roxburghe, made his debut on the circuit at the Welsh Open last weekend, after an invite from the competition’s sponsors.
While the 28-year-old failed to make the cut with scores of 86 and 78 in difficult conditions at Celtic Manor, he is now preparing to tackle the tour’s qualifying school when it visits his home course in September.
Speaking from Japan before he was forced to pull out of a Japanese Tour event due to injury, Innes Ker said: “It would be a dream to get on the European Tour and I won’t get a better chance than to do it at my own club.
“To say the Welsh Open was a step up in quality is a massive understatement. The scores over the whole weekend showed how difficult the course played, with the wind on the first day making it incredibly hard.
“The course had not had any rain for three weeks and the greens just played like concrete.
“There were also unbelievably difficult pin positions but it was still an amazing course.”
Discussing his eventful second round alongside caddy Steve Johnston, by day Roxburghe’s professional, Innes Ker added: “On the 14th I hit my drive left and ended up near the toilets, so was forced to drop the ball in front of 100 people in the marquee having their lunch. I was offered a pint and was very tempted, but thought it might not be appropriate. Instead, I played a rescue shot and got an amazing five. It was a good experience.”
Innes Ker started off with pitch and putt at Gullane at the age of five while his dad played at Muirfield.
Although he played at school and university, Innes-Ker managed little amateur golf, as he worked as an event assistant on the European Tour.
But a contract with the International Sports Promotion Society in 2010 allowed his dream of becoming a professional golfer to become reality.
Despite his new status, Innes Ker admits life is far from glamourous on minor tours such as the Euro Pro or Jamega.
He added: “It is hard work and lonely. You need to be a certain type of person to make a go of it, but luckily I am that type.
“It is tough on the smaller tours.
“There are no player lounges or freebies, you just have to grind it out.
“Although it is tough, you have to look at the bigger picture and see that we are playing golf for a living.
“I work with a golf charity called the On Course Foundation, who try to get soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan into the game.
“When I am having a bad day on the course, I think of those guys and am thankful that I have two arms and two legs to play the game.”