Thursday, 24 November 2016
  (European Tour)
(European Tour)

Many say that becoming a parent for the first time in one of the hardest periods of one’s life.

No sleep, a constantly crying child and the added pressure of an extra mouth to feed can be the undoing of relationships and careers.

This is not the case for José-Filipe Lima.

The birth of his baby daughter this year has not hindered the 34 year old, but has in fact given the Portuguese a new lease of life.

By the time little Charline turns one her father will have represented his country at the Olympics, played in the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf, and will be a European Tour member, and Lima admits her arrival has altered his perspective on life – and on golf.  

Lima

“Everybody told me ‘you are going to be a father and it is going to change your life’,” he said. “I thought it was going to be tough for me with less sleep and less practice but overall I have seen it as a benefit because you have something else in your mind.

“When I am feeling down I start to smile as I think about her, when we speak on FaceTime it is amazing because she is starting to say ‘hello’ and ‘bye bye’. That all starts to put things in to perspective.

“Now golf is maybe the third or fourth most important thing in my life. I now put God first, my daughter and my family second, and golf is now third.

“I feel it is important to have this structure because on a day when you feel like crying you think ‘no it is just golf, forget about it, I will have a good day tomorrow.’

“Being a father is really special and I feel like I want a second one for sure, it is just up to my wife now!”

Lima made a solid start to 2016, with a tied eighth finish at the Trophée Hassan II an early highlight, but it was not until he won the Najeti Open for the second time in his career in June that he became a contender for a European Tour card.

Lima

Aside from lining up with 2015 Challenge Tour Rankings winner Ricardo Gouevia at the Olympics, July and August were not memorable months for Lima, who began to lose track on a top-16 spot after a series of mediocre results.

During another season he might have lost his way, but with just six events remaining he started a run of high finishes in Kazakhstan that would take him back into the running for a European Tour card.

Arriving in Ras Al Khaimah, the penultimate event of the season, Lima knew he had work to do, and the four-time Challenge Tour winner delivered when it mattered most – carding a seven under par final round of 65 to claim second place.

After gaining a daughter, a European Tour card, and the chance to reform his partnership with Gouveia at this week’s World Cup of Golf, 2016 will truly be a year to remember for Lima.

Lima

“It is a year I will never forget for sure,” he said. “To win in Saint-Omer, to become a father and to go to the Olympics, the World Cup and to get my card. Can it get better than this?

“I learned this year that in golf you never know what is going to happen. I had a different season physically as when I was not playing I was not exercising, I didn’t have the time with my little girl, and I spent more time this year practising on my putting and chipping.

“Overall it has been a very different season, and while I still have work to do with my overall game, my chipping and putting has been very good. That has compensated for everything else.

“At the start of the season I was thinking that I needed to make a change, and now that I have started to work more on my short game I am starting to see the results.”

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