WORTHING Golf Club’s Jack Bartlett hopes the form that got him within one shot of a dream debut at The Open can propel him to a spot on the full European Tour.
The 22-year-old amateur saw off most of a 72-man field, which included professional tour players, to finish tied for second at the final qualifying event in Littlestone, Kent.
With only three places at Royal St George’s up for grabs, Bartlett then entered a five-way play-off for the remaining two spots, but a bogey on the second hole eliminated him from contention.
Despite the frustration of coming so close to a dream trip to Sandwich, Bartlett is pleased with his form ahead of the upcoming Qualifying School for the European Tour.
He said: “I was disappointed, obviously. Straight away I was gutted. When you’re that close and you miss it, you feel like you might as well have come last.
“But it is nice to be in contention, it’s the closest I’ve ever come to playing in a major. I mean, you can’t get much closer can you.
“I’m playing probably the best golf I have ever played, so, hopefully, that will help at the Qualifying School.”
One of the golfers who beat him in the play-off was experienced 42-year-old, Markus Brier, a man with five professional wins.
And mixing it with that quality of golfer has given Bartlett confidence ahead of the first round of the Qualifying School, due to be played in October at Frilford Heath, near Oxford.
Until then, he will continue playing amateur events to keep his form up.
Although he has spent most of the past four years playing golf in glorious conditions in sunny Florida, Bartlett seems more than able to tame the windswept links courses of England.
In May he graduated from Nova Southeastern University after a four-year golf scholarship in the States, and he is now back swinging for Worthing Golf Club.
He said: “I do miss it (America), though. I miss the weather, and I left a lot of friends over there, obviously. But I’ve been playing a lot of amateur golf since I got back to keep myself ready for the tour school.”
As well as getting so close to qualifying for The Open, since his return Bartlett has also made the last 16 of the British Amateur Championship, a competition which involves 288 of the best amateur players from all over the world.