Brinson Paolini may not be a familiar name just yet, but the young American has designs on following the trail blazed by his compatriots Brooks Koepka and Peter Uihlein in conquering Europe.
Many of America’s hottest prospects are crossing the Atlantic to begin their professional golfing careers on the Challenge Tour, and it has proved a shrewd decision for Koepka and Uihlein, the former winning three times to earn instant promotion to The European Tour and the latter triumphing at the Madeira Islands Open in May having graduated from the Qualifying School in December.
Paolini only turned professional last week, but gave a strong indication of his potential with a seven under par 64 in the third round of the Swiss Challenge – the first time he has ever played in Europe – to set the clubhouse lead at ten under par.
The brilliant bogey-free round was capped by a cool putt for birdie from 20 feet on the last.
“That putt at the last really summed up my day,” said Paolini. “I made a lot of putts, but I missed a few too – I set up a lot of chances out there. I holed some really long ones, which always helps.
“This is my first tournament as a professional and my first Challenge Tour event. I turned pro last week and found out I’d got into this event, then when I got over here on Tuesday I heard I’d got into next week as well, so it’s great to be over here with two starts.
“I graduated in May from Duke University in North Carolina and originally was just waiting for the Q-School. I was planning on staying amateur for the summer, but I got these exemptions so I decided to turn pro a little earlier.
“I’ve got these two starts and I have a start on the Web.com Tour back home in the States at the end of the month. Hopefully I can get in a couple more over here – that’s the hope.”
Paolini is encouraged by the success of his compatriots and peers, who like him have embraced the opportunity to experience new countries, cultures and languages.
“We’re all following Brooks and Peter, who have obviously done very well,” he said. “They are blazing a trail for the rest of us and giving us the inspiration and motivation.
“It’s great, you come over here and travel to different countries and see the world. Places like this are spectacular so it’s pretty awesome being here.
“I’d travelled to Japan to play golf, and I’d visited London and Paris, but I’d never played in Europe before this week. It’s just beautiful so I’m very happy to be here.”