Jon was inspired to take up golf when as a nine-year-old he watched Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson fight out the 1977 Open at Turnberry. Although football was his first love, he used to sneak on to a school playing field near his home in Laindon and chip balls on to the cricket square with an old Sam Snead wedge. As a teenager Jon and his brothers Steve and Kenny would carry the five clubs they shared in a supermarket shopping bag round the Pipps Hill municipal course near Basildon. Coaching from professional Mark Sharman, who is now his manager, helped Jon win his Tour card two years after turning professional, but it was a tough struggle before he gained confidence from a 1994 European Challenge Tour victory in Tunisia that took him back to European Tour. He held on to his card in 1995, and last season improved 39 places, with the help of one special week.