Took up the game at the age of 13, coached by former Tour regular Peter Tupling at the Sand Moor club in Leeds. Won the English Amateur Championship in his teens and played in the Walker Cup side at 20. Finished eighth in the Challenge Tour Rankings in 1994 to win his place on the main Tour. Came close to winning the Murphy's Irish Open in 1995, losing a play-off to Sam Torrance. Finally broke through with a win in the Europe 1 Cannes Open in 1997 but was unable to build on that success, dropping to 160th in the Volvo Order of Merit. Switched coaches from Tupling to Peter Cowen in August 1999.