SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND | Conor Gough, the 16-year-old British Boys’ champion who had an invitation to this week’s Betfred British Masters on the European Tour at Hillside Golf Club, had earlier described the British Boys’ Championship – it was last year’s instalment at Royal Portrush – as the most pressurised week of his golfing life.
It goes without saying that people were looking for signs of stress on Thursday as the teenager teed up alongside Jacques Kruyswijk and Bernd Ritthammer in what was his first professional tournament. As it turned out, there was nothing to suggest that he was even vaguely out of his comfort zone.
Alastair Scott, the official starter, made the same observation. He knew plenty of seasoned professionals who still exhibited first tee nerves. “You get a few who have the same stare on their faces as that of a rabbit in the proverbial headlights. And you get some normally chatty individuals who can’t speak. Conor, though, went straight to an iron for his opening tee shot (the first hole is a par-4) and deliver...
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