Showed nerves of steel at the 2011 European Tour Qualifying School to earn his playing rights for 2012. Needing to par the last two holes to get in on the mark, he hacked out of bushes, chipped onto the green to ten feet and holed the putt at the 17th, then sunk a 15-footer for par at the last having again been in trouble off the tee. Had spent the previous three seasons on the Challenge Tour, with limited success. First won his card via the Challenge Tour in 2001, but finished his debut season in 133rd place on the Order of Merit. Won his card back at the Qualifying School and made good use of it, ending the 2003 season 107th. Subsequently 90th, 105th and a career-best 73rd in 2006. In his formative years, his frustrated family persuaded Dereham Golf Club to bend their rules and admit him after he began breaking windows and digging up the lawn while practising. Still coached by his first mentor, Steve Beckham, with whom he worked at Barnham Broom, but decided club golf was not for him. Club members came to his aid in 2001 when they bought £500 shares to cover his costs on the Challenge Tour. After winning £75,840 (£47,154) for fourth place in the Rankings that year they were rewarded with a dividend.