In the next of our Meet the Rookies series, we meet Daniel Brooks, who was the 21st and final player to graduate from the 2012 Challenge Tour Rankings...
If ever there were proof needed that there is not only one direct, Hollywood-style route to the highest echelons of golf, Daniel Brooks, the final graduate from the 2012 Challenge Tour, provides just that.
While the Englishman’s ascent to the top has not been a spectacular one worthy of headline news, it has been built on solid foundations and a refreshing view of the game. Brooks was last year overheard on a plane being asked by fellow players why he has played so many tournaments without a break or a week of rest.
Although the 25 year old was thousands of feet in the air, his response could not have been more grounded. “This is my job now,” he said. “I think I should turn up for work every week!”
In keeping with that determined and hard-working attitude, Brooks has been a picture of consistent progress since turning professional in 2007, taking small steps in the right direction with every passing year.
His career in the paid ranks began on the satellite Europro Tour and his record there – 51st in the Rankings in 2007, 21st in 2008 and third in 2009 - began a trend which has continued all the way through his time on the Challenge Tour.
As the Essex native found his feet in his first year on the Challenge Tour in 2010, he finished a respectable 61st in the Rankings before following that up by finishing 47th in 2011.
A runner-up finish at the Princess by Schüco in Sweden that year proved to be a sign of better things to come for Brooks as his consistency and hard work paid off in 2012.
Seven top 20 finishes, including a closely-fought battle with young Frenchman Gary Stal for the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda, where he was runner-up, meant Brooks finished the season with a European Tour card as the last of 21 Challenge Tour graduates.
“Gradually every year has been better and better for me,” he said. “Obviously I have just been improving so I’ll see where that takes me now.
“It is hard work but you mature and you seem to get better at grinding as you get older. You don’t give up as much, you keep plugging away.
“I can’t ask for much more. I’m getting better and better each year so that is nothing to complain about and hopefully it keeps going the same way.
“You just need to get off to a good start, especially in my category where you don’t get many events. If you come through the Qualifying School or the second half of the Challenge Tour Rankings, you have to hit the ground running, so hopefully I can do that.”