Saltford golfer Shane Winstone looking to follow Trump to the top
Saltford golfer Shane Winstone is desperately hoping to follow the example of his snooker friend Judd Trump by making the big breakthrough into professional golf next season.
Winstone has often taken to the green beige with world number one Trump, who learned his trade at Keynsham Snooker Centre.
He said: “We lived near each other in Whitchurch, played a bit of snooker and went to the gym together.
“It is great to see the success Judd has achieved and I know I can do the same. It is just a question of building up my confidence.”
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Winstone, aged 27, a former Gloucestershire and Somerset amateur and member of Saltford Golf Club, is now searching for a new sponsor in his latest bid to break into professional golf.
Last season he played on the tough Europro Tour, finishing 59th in the Order of Merit which means he automatically qualifies to play on the tour again in 2013 without having to get through the qualifying school.
He said: “Like most of the young players at this level I have to find a way to work and keep playing through the winter. I have been painting and decorating and last year I worked in a warehouse.
“I will try to again play most of the events in Britain and Ireland but the entry fees are £225 and you are looking at four nights in hotels at each event. I cannot afford a caddy at the moment and like a lot of other players I really need a financial backer to get started again.”
After trying to make a professional breakthrough a few years ago, Winstone reverted to amateur status and switched from Gloucestershire to Somerset, helping them to win the Channel League two years ago as one of the county’s most successful players.
When he was with Gloucestershire he had been European Tour star Chris Wood’s regular foursomes partner.
Meanwhile, Saltford touring professional Laurie Canter booked his place on this year’s South Africa-based Sunshine Tour with a ninth-place finish in the final qualifying round at Schoeman Park Golf Club.
Canter, who played in the 2010 Open at St Andrews, carded a 14-under-par total of 346 for five rounds.
He finished 12 shots behind winner Torben Baumann of Germany but comfortably inside the top 36, all of whom booked their places at the Sunshine Tour opener, the Telkom PGA Pro-Am. The tournament will be held at the Country Club, Johannesburg, from February 23-26.