If Julien Brun were looking for omens, he would have noted that his friend and fellow Frenchman Romain Wattel went into the final round of the 2010 ALLIANZ Europen Strasbourg on 12 under par.
Wattel, now making waves on The European Tour, would go on to win that tournament, sparking “amateur dramatics” headlines across his homeland.
Fast forward almost exactly two years and Brun finds himself in a similar position after three rounds of the ALLIANZ Golf Open Toulouse Metropole, where he is on 12 under par – and one shot clear of his nearest rival – after three successive rounds of 67.
Like Wattel in 2010, Brun is making his Challenge Tour debut this week at Golf de Toulouse-Seilh – the same course on which Wattel won the 2009 French Amateur Stroke Play Championship.
Should Brun go on to emulate his friend’s feats in this week’s €160,000 event, he would be afforded a hero’s welcome on his return to Texas Christian University, near Dallas.
The 20 year old from Antibes has already made quite an impression during his brief time at ‘TC’, winning on his debut at the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate, before adding two more victories.
Now in his second year, Brun is clearly one to watch for the future, but he is understandably keen to develop his game and mature physically before making the big step into the professional arena.
Brun said: “I’m not sure what I’ll do after leaving college, because I haven’t really thought that far ahead yet. My main goal is to get onto The European Tour, but that’s a long way in the future yet because I’ve got two more years of college left after this one.
“I’m just enjoying myself at the moment, before the serious business starts when I turn professional. I just want to keep learning, and tournaments like this week can only help me improve.
“I also played the French Open earlier in the season, and it was pretty intimidating to play my first European Tour event in such a big tournament. Even though I missed the cut I learned a lot, and it’s made me want to play in tournaments like that more regularly.
“I was paired with Jorge Campillo and Shiv Kapur, who both went to college in America so it was good to have something in common with them, and to ask them their advice on what I should do next.”
If he can continue his meteoric rise, Brun will soon be dispensing advice, rather than receiving it.