Grandfather and father were both golf pros, the latter playing on the European Tour in the 1970s before taking up a club professional's position. Learned the game, like Bernhard Langer, at Augsburg GC, about 80km west of Munich from the age of five. Turned pro aged 15. Went to the Qualifying School no fewer than nine times and was rewarded for his persistence, gaining his card in 1992 and 1995. Has been fully exempt since then. Works with leading coach, Denis Pugh. Finished 81st in Volvo Order of Merit in 2000, ending in style by recording six consecutive birdies in the third round of his final tournament, the Italian Open.