Sean Crocker had some business to take care of, so he flew from his Florida home to Los Angeles, the city where he spent the bulk of his childhood.
“The first morning after I got there, I woke up and my agent called me to say that I’d been invited out to three events on the Challenge Tour,” Crocker explained. “So I basically cut my trip short out there and came straight here.”
Here, to be exact, is the Hauts de France Golf Open at Aa Saint-Omer Golf Club, one of the longest-running events on the European Challenge Tour, which happens to be nine time zones away from America’s Pacific coast.
“I’m so excited. I’m just happy I get to play again because it’s felt like I’ve been off for two months. I’m really happy the Challenge Tour invited me. I absolutely love Europe and playing with the guys out here is so much fun,” the 21 year old said.
Although this will be the first time Crocker has played on the Challenge Tour, he is no stranger to international competition.
Born in Zimbabwe to cricketer Gary Crocker — a sporting star who set numerous records as a member of the Zimbabwe National Cricket Team — the American, who moved to the United States at the age of six, has seen nearly every corner of the globe.
In his short professional career, Crocker has played in 13 European Tour events on four different continents, and in eight starts this season, he has amassed €157,740 in earnings — highlighted by a pair of top ten finishes at the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth and the Australian PGA Championship.
In January, he qualified for the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links via his tied sixth place finish at the Singapore Open on the Asian Tour.
Behind the unmistakable California accent lies an incredibly well-travelled young man, who maintains an observant inventory of every professional event he has been to.
“I’ve never had a bad experience on the European Tour. Every single time is amazing, the people are amazing, the whole staff are amazing, and the players are amazing — they’re my favourite,” said Crocker.
“They’re all genuine guys, they want to hang out with you, and if they see a rookie they’re going to come out and talk to you and ask you how they can help. It’s not like that on every tour, some places it’s a little more dog-eat-dog.”
The Hauts de France Golf Open will be the first of three straight events for Crocker, as he aims to follow in the footsteps of fellow American success stories Brooks Koepka, who defends his U.S. Open title this week, and Julian Suri who climbed over 1700 places on the Official World Golf Ranking as a result of his achievements on the Challenge Tour last year.
Crocker is set to tee off at 9:00 am local time, as the Hauts de France Golf Open will be contested for the 18th consecutive year on the undulating Saint-Omer GC. Tee times begin at 7:30 am.