Parker back in the game after injury nightmare

7/11/2012 5:58:50 PM
Ben Parker  (EuropeanTour)
Ben Parker (EuropeanTour)
While Ben Parker has been surrounded by success stories in recent years, with his sister Florentyna becoming a winner on the Ladies European Tour and his regular travel partner Max Kieffer achieving success on the Challenge Tour, his own early career has been an infinite struggle.

But the amicable Englishman, who grew up in Germany after moving to Hamburg with his family at the age of two, has emerged from a four year battle with injury with a smile on his face.

Furthermore, he believes his time has come to taste the kind of success that those closest to him have been enjoying.

It was 2007 when Parker, just recently turned professional after an impressive amateur career and having played two Challenge Tour events, suffered a shoulder injury which started off as a small niggle but resulted in major surgery and two years out of golf.

Soon after a strenuous six month rehabilitation regime, the 24 year old also broke his wrist and not long after that, he fell foul of tendonitis in both hands due to over-practice on the range.

Needless to say, his professional career has been a tougher learning curve than he could ever have expected.

“I was playing really well when I was just turning pro,” said Parker, who plays in this week's Credit Suisse Challenge. “I had a really good feeling about it and then it all went.

“All of the guys I played on the England squad with as an amateur were making it onto The European Tour and, obviously I was happy for them, but I was just sitting in front of the TV with this huge shoulder brace, not able to do anything, and I got really depressed at first. I couldn’t do anything.

“Then I thought I could just get back into it after being injured and get back to where I was before, but that wasn’t the case unfortunately.

“Now I'm feeling my game is improving every week and I feel like I'm about where I was when I turned pro so it’s been a long time.

“I'm really excited this year though, playing with good players again and a lot of guys I know from back in the amateur days. You’re going to get better with these good players around you too.

“I've learned a lot about myself though during that time so if I do have a good year and make it to The European Tour it would mean so much to me so I'm looking forward to playing up there and getting into winning positions.”

In the years during his injuries, Parker has watched his sister as she built a successful career in the ladies game, picking up her first win in 2010 before becoming an established pro, and he says that he will continue to feed off her success as he looks to emulate her in the men’s game.

“She got her card when I was injured and she made it through Qualifying School straight away then had a good first year and then the following year she won so it’s been great,” he said. “She’s had a solid season so far this year so hopefully she can get another win.

“Unfortunately I don’t see her that much but when we are back together we play a bit. You can definitely feed from each other and when she has a good week, it gives me a bit of confidence too, a bit of positivity.

“It should be my turn now too, shouldn’t it! I feel like my game’s getting better so I wouldn’t be surprised if I did well in the next few weeks, maybe this week. Why not?”

After taking the long and winding route thus far, nobody would begrudge Parker a successful career hereafter.