Wilson targets pro switch

Darlington’s Andrew Wilson is targeting a possible switch to the pro ranks by the end of 2018.

Wilson, 23, is currently in South Africa as part of a two-man England team with Staffordshire’s Jack Gaunt on a our-tournament tour.

The pair tee off at the South African Strokeplay Championship at Pecanwood before heading for Glendower, where Graeme Storm and Chris Paisley have claimed European Tour titles in the last 12 months, looking to make it a North East hat-trick with the African Amateur, before finishing with the Cape Province Open at Kingswood and the Salam SA Amateur in Durban.

“I’m really looking forward to going to Glendower,” said Wilson. “I spoke to Stormy, asked for advice and he said to practice a lot on my short game and to hit it straight. He said you can’t miss fairways and to keep it on the short grass. He also reckoned it flies further around there.”

Having graduated with a masters in finance from Northumbria University last summer, Wilson has been concentrating on his golf.

“I think it had a bearing on the way I ended last year,” said Wilson, who won the Lee Westwood Trophy and finished runner-up at the North of England Amateur.

“I had no pressure of essays and exams on me, no pressure on my back and I seemed to play better after that. I am looking forward to my first year in full-time golf since I started when I was about 12.

“From September 2016 to September 2017 I was dropped from the England squad while I was at university.

“I wasn’t having a great year, but started seeing Graham Walker the England coach – that was the catalyst.

“I want to win a big event before I turn pro. I know I am capable, I just need to focus on doing it. I will probably turn pro in September, go to European Tour Qualifying School and go from there.”