TOM Fleming, the Frilford Heath assistant professional, has qualified to play in next year’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth after finishing in the top ten of the Titleist PGA play-offs in Turkey last week, writes MICHAEL KNOX.
“I’m over the moon, it’s the highlight of my career,” said the 31-year-old, who tied for sixth on the Antalya PGA Sultan course.
Fleming qualified for the 24-man play-offs by coming third in the Southern PGA order of merit, despite not playing in all the events.
The play-offs in Turkey were dogged by bad weather, with the event reduced from 72 to 54 holes.
Fleming carded rounds of 71, 69 and 73 for a level-par total of 213, eight behind the winner, Kent’s Richard Wallis.
“My goal was to get in the top ten, and I’m delighted to qualify for the flagship event on the European PGA Tour,” said Fleming.
The former Abingdon School pupil divides his time between teaching at Frilford, and playing in regional events.
“My boss Derek Craik is very good in giving me time off for tournaments,” he added.
“I hope this will lead to more sponsorship and open a few doors and possibly get me into a few Challenge Tour events next year.
“In the end, it all comes down to money.”
Although the event at Wentworth is not until next May, Fleming is planning his build-up to the big event both physically and mentally.
“I’m looking forward to it, but also dreading it in a way, playing with all those top world players.”