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Casey Jarvis: DP World Tour rookie on the step-up after Challenge Tour promotion 

Casey Jarvis: DP World Tour rookie on the step-up after Challenge Tour promotion 

It’s been quite the rise over the last 12 months for Casey Jarvis. From struggling for form in his homeland on the Sunshine Tour and without status on the European Challenge Tour, he now finds himself competing on the DP World Tour with full playing privileges.

Of the 197 players currently on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex, only England’s Matthew Southgate has played more times so far this season. The one event on the schedule Jarvis has not played at was the Dubai Invitational, featuring a limited field.

For a player who only turned professional less than two years ago, the 20-year-old sets high expectations of himself.

While he may be a rookie on the DP World Tour, rather than his objective for the season be to retain his card, he is targeting reaching the season-ending DP World Tour Championship. To do so he must finish among the top 50 on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex.

Well, so far so good. He has played in every event that he has been exempt for with his season’s best coming with a tie for seventh at the Alfred Dunhill Championship on home soil in the latter weeks of last year and sits 47th ahead of the one-week break in the International Swing.

“The players are definitely a lot stronger. It is a different level out here,” Jarvis told the DP World Tour as he reflected on the step-up since his promotion from the Challenge Tour to Golf’s Global Tour at the end of last season.

“It has been pretty tough adjusting (but) I love travelling so I am just trying to have fun and enjoy every moment.”

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It’s easy to understand why he is desperate to take everything in. These are essentially unchartered surroundings. Before the start of the season, he had only played in two DP World Tour events that were not co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour.

But here is a player with heaps of talent. After a successful amateur career in which he won both the South Amateur and South Africa Strokeplay titles in 2020 among a host of other victories, he quickly made an impression in the paid ranks.

In his rookie season on the Sunshine Tour, he became the second youngest player, at 19, after Ryo Ishikawa to break 60 on one of the major professional tours at the Stella Artois Players Championship in South Africa.

Later that season, after finishing as the rookie of the year, he registered his first top 10 on the DP World Tour at the Joburg Open. But it was when he played on the Challenge Tour in his homeland that he started to display the consistent golf that has enabled him to accelerate his development.

After a trio of runner-up finishes on the Challenge Tour, he claimed his first professional title in Austria as he went on to finish second on the Road to Mallorca Rankings and be the youngest player to graduate from the Class of 2023.  

“I didn’t expect it to be fair,” he said. “I was on the Sunshine Tour and not playing great and then all of a sudden got on the Challenge Tour and had a win over there.

“I have been working harder than I ever have. I felt like last year I really put in the work because I got out on the Challenge Tour and saw that those guys worked hard and I think you have got to do that, especially now on the DP World Tour.

“These guys are grinding nine hours a day, so I have just got to work hard.”

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With Jarvis, one of the youngest players out on Tour, playing at venues predominantly for the first time this season, awareness of the dangers certain layouts pose has been a big learning curve.

"Guys have played these courses in some cases the last 10 or so years," he said.

As a result, he has every intention of playing whenever he is exempt in a bid to enhance his career development.

He added: "I am going to try and play every event this year and try to learn which courses suit my game because it looks like these guys know exactly what they are doing around each course.

"I have got to be a little bit better with that."

One person who has played a pivotal role in Jarvis’ development throughout his career is his father, Kevin, who used to caddie on the Sunshine Tour and is his long-time coach.

“He’s been my coach throughout my career,” he said. “He travels a few weeks here and then when I am struggling.

“I missed two cuts (in Ras Al Khaimah and Bahrain) and brought him out to Qatar to help me.

“Like me, he enjoys travelling. Obviously, we fight a bit when things are not going great, but we have a pretty good connection.”

Aside from the undoubted talent Jarvis possesses, what also comes across is his mature perspective on the golfing education he is enjoying.

But behind that there is a real drive to succeed, which will be invaluable in his pursuit of realising more of his goals on the global stage.

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