Driving to the top

A GOLF professional from St Ives is right in the swing of things after qualifying to play in a top European Tour. Richard Beadles, 30, carded a par score of 217 in his three rounds at Frilford Heath, Oxfordshire, last week to secure his place on the EuroP

A GOLF professional from St Ives is right in the swing of things after qualifying to play in a top European Tour.

Richard Beadles, 30, carded a par score of 217 in his three rounds at Frilford Heath, Oxfordshire, last week to secure his place on the EuroPro Tour.

Beadles took up the sport full-time after he graduated from Coventry and turned professional two years ago after working at the Lakeside Lodge Golf Centre, Pidley, improving his game.

This season will be Beadles' most intensive yet, with the EuroPro Tour seeing him jet across Europe to play in tournaments in Portugal, Spain, Ireland and the UK.


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Beadles, who lived in Brampton for three years before moving to St Ives, said: "I am looking forward to getting stuck into the tour and I am confident I will be able to acquit myself well.

"The EuroPro Tour should be the door to the full-scale European Tour where the prize money and competition really hots up."

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Events on the tour last for three days with a single round on each day. Winners of the tour events can expect to pocket anything up to £15,000 for their success.

"There is certainly enough money in the tour to be able to play professionally, though it is quite condensed into a six-month spell across the summer."

Beadles will split his time between the EuroPro Tour with various other events and tournaments as he bids to pocket as much money as possible before a new arrival to the family this summer.

Generally it is frowned upon for golfers to use their mobile phones on the course, but Beadles might be asking the Tour to bend the rules for him in June - his wife Lucy is expecting a baby.

Beadles said: "I've looked at the dates and fortunately the tour swings into the UK around the time Lucy is due - but there certainly might be a swift car journey called for."

Beadles was born in Yorkshire but moved to Huntingdonshire as a boy and attended Kimbolton School.

At Frilford Heath last week, Beadles was lying in second place after an excellent first round of 69, but second and third rounds of 72 and 76, on the 73-par final day, saw him slip back down the field - though his par score of 217 meant he qualified for the EuroPro Tour.

He said: "I was in good shape after the first day but I started to go to pieces on the second day and the third was a bit of a nightmare.

"However, I was always confident I could do enough to qualify for the tour and I can't wait to get started."

INFORMATION: For more on the PGA EuroPro Tour, visit www.europrotour.com

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