Wilson’s wonder start

James Wilson enjoyed International Series success at close house and fairmont st Andrews – and is jetting off to Singapore for his third event in October

James WILSON enjoyed back-to-back success in the Asian Tour’s International Series – and is hoping to build on the momentum in his third event in Singapore.

Having qualified into the field for the International Series England at Close House, James shot rounds of 71, 71, 79 and 71 to finish in a tie for 48th place as American Andy Ogletree won the event by seven shots.

“The Close House event was a really good start,” said James. “Having set out to finish in the top-20, I think I had a decent week, but not everything I wanted. Tee to green I played nicely; I just didn’t make those key putts. Add in a few mistakes in tough conditions on Saturday and it all added up to a middle of the pack finish, but a great introduction to the Asian Tour.

“Playing so close to home has its advantages and challenges. I knew the course very well – though it was different in a tournament setup – and could sleep in my own bed, which is a luxury. While it was fantastic to have so many people out there watching me, that brought some extra pressure with it.”

Having made the cut at Close House, James was invited to be part of the inaugural St Andrews Bay Championship at Fairmont St Andrews the following week.

There he produced superb rounds of 68, 66, 70 and 69 to hold the lead at one stage on Sunday and ultimately finish in a tie for eighth place on 15 under-par. Spaniard Eugenio Chacarra defeated veteran Aussie Matt Jones on the 10th extra hole to win the event, after both players finished on 19 under-par after 72 holes.

“The week at St Andrews was unbelievable. I didn’t feel like I was playing great going into the first round, but putts started to drop and it became a bit of a surreal experience,” added James.

“I was really happy with how I played that week, particularly off the tee. The key was just staying in the zone and sticking to the processes which have been working well this season. Things fell into place and seeing my name at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday was incredible. I hit it great again, but just couldn’t make the putts to push on and make it really interesting.”

The result in Scotland earned James an invite to the next International Series event in Singapore, which is scheduled for October 5-8.

“Going to Asia for the first time is going to be amazing,” he added. “I’m in a good place, playing well, but going out to Singapore is a totally new adventure. Another top-eight finish gets me into the next event in Hong Kong – so let’s see how it goes.”