The Challenge Tour is over for another season, and 12 talented players are set for their rookie season on The European Tour in 2013.
Over the next few weeks, europeantour.com will introduce those players in our Meet the Rookies series. First up is Scotland’s Scott Henry…
Scott Henry spent hours as a young child watching his father at the driving range and trying to copy his swing, so it was apt that the biggest moment of his career, one that could change the course of his life, arrived on his dad’s birthday.
Needing to hole a 25-foot putt for birdie at the 72nd hole of the Kazakhstan Open in order to force a play-off with HP Bacher, Henry stepped up and duly rolled the ball in. (Click here
to see a replay)
With the adrenalin pumping and Bacher deflated, Henry won the play-off with a par at the second extra hole to claim the €64,000 first prize and hand his dad the perfect birthday present.
“I was thinking about my dad all day,” Henry said at the time. “When I left home, he told me that two good weeks in Russia and Kazakhstan would be the perfect present so to win here for him is a great feeling.
“It was a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. It felt incredible.”
The victory propelled the 25 year old into the top ten in the Rankings, and although he slipped to 11th after the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, he has earned promotion to golf’s top tier after just one full season on the Challenge Tour.
“My dad started playing golf when I was about three or four, and he used to take me to the driving range with him,” said Henry. “He got hooked on it straight away and would just hit hundreds and hundreds of balls.
“I would be there with him, and when you’re that age you think it’s great just to be there with your dad. I would try to copy him – which is probably why I’ve got a few dodgy parts to my swing!
“He and my mum started taking me to competitions when I was a bit older, and that’s when I really enjoyed it. Most of my enjoyment from the game comes from competing.
“I’ve just kept going right the way through my childhood. When I was young I played all sports, but the one thing I’ve always wanted to do – even since I was about eight or nine – was play golf. I always knew I wanted to be a golfer.”
The Clydebank man enjoyed a fine amateur career, winning the Scottish Boys Championship in 2004 and 2005, the Scottish Boys Stroke Play Championship in 2004 and the Scottish Amateur Stroke Play Championship in 2006.
“Those were the highlights of my junior career,” he said. “And I was also the GB&I boys captain.
“Aside from golf, I love football. I don’t support a team, I just love the game. I enjoy hearing my friends arguing about whose team is better. I love all sports really. I really enjoy watching the top athletes. The Olympics this year were amazing. All these proper athletes – it’s so impressive watching people like Usain Bolt. They must train so hard.”
Train hard is something Henry will also have to do to be ready for the step up to The European Tour next season, but one thing is assured: his determination.
“I always want to keep improving,” he added. “We play golf to compete and be in contention, and in order to do that you have to put the work in. I’m relishing the challenge.”