Pick-up games against Englishman Paul Casey at their home course at TPC Scottsdale has given Harrison Endycott the confidence to pursue playing opportunities on the European Tour.
Endycott has been issued an invitation to play a European Tour event for the second consecutive week, joining seven other Australians and Kiwis Daniel Hillier and Michael Campbell in Amsterdam for the KLM Open at The International.
Stranded mid-year by a four-month gap in the PGA TOUR-Latinoamerica Tour, Endycott had one start on the Korn Ferry Tour where he was tied for 49th at the LECOM Health Challenge but was confined predominantly to practising at his home club in Arizona.
It’s where many PGA TOUR players base themselves and why Endycott took up a last-minute invitation to play in the Porsche European Open last week, confident his game was in a position to compete.
“I’ve been playing a lot of golf with a lot of guys there and just grinding hard,” Endycott said of his practice schedule at TPC Scottsdale.
“I had the mindset that I could be pegging it up in a tournament the following week.
“This wasn’t time off; it was my window to get better and get ready for a golf tournament.
“I had a great day the other week with Paul Casey. He lives not far from me.
“We just had a friendly game and then seeing him win last week was awesome.
“I practise a lot with Mark Hensby and there’s this environment of PGA TOUR players so you’re around golf every day.
“I don’t feel like I’ve under-worked. I’ve definitely done the work and prepped well.
“We would have loved to have been able to play in that big break but I don’t feel like I went backwards in that break.”
Endycott’s management company, 4Sports Entertainment – who represent golfers such as Jimmy Walker, Webb Simpson and Charl Schwartzel – got the 23-year-old a start last week where he was tied for 64th.
Exempt into the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland in two weeks’ time courtesy of his finish on the Australasian Tour Order of Merit, Endycott is more open to a European switch than in previous years.
He has stated prior his desire to play the PGA TOUR but knows early in his career that playing opportunities can quickly reshape where you make your mark.
“My mindset hasn’t changed with regards to that US pathway, it’s just about creating more options,” said Endycott, who is exempt into the Second Stage of Q-School for both the European and Korn Ferry tours.
“The hardest thing starting out, the first three years or so on tour, is finding a good schedule.
“There are only a handful of guys that get to do that and most of those guys are tournament winners.
“I know guys in Europe who got their full card through Q-School and they’re still not in every week.
“You’re just trying to create as many opportunities as you can to play well so it can change.
“I know the European Tour are very helpful towards players who are close to getting their cards who aren’t exempt. It would be nice to play well this week and not worry about where I’m going to be next year, where I’m going to be the next four years.
“If the European Tour help me to get some starts I’m going to appreciate it very much and try and take advantage of that.”
As for his prospects of making an impression this week in Amsterdam, the Sydneysider believes the golf course will provide a great opportunity for a number of Aussies to play well.
“The golf course is awesome. It’s like playing down the Peninsula in Melbourne. It’s a little bit like Thirteenth Beach too. Same style of golf,” he explained.
“You’ve got to position yourself around the golf course and that not only suits myself but a lot of Australians.
“We grow up on a lot of golf like that. If we go and play well there’ll be a bunch of Aussies at the top of the leaderboard this week.”
Joining Endycott in Amsterdam this week are Scott Hend, Jake McLeod, Adam Bland, Deyen Lawson, Nick Cullen, Brett Rumford and Dimi Papadatos.
Cullen is the first of the Aussies off at 4.15pm AEST with Endycott to tee off alongside Maximillian Kiefer and Lars Keunen at 10.25pm.
Victorian Ben Eccles is the lone Australian playing the Challenge Tour this week while Kiwi Josh Geary will be out to solidify his place in the top 15 on the Order of Merit at the 57º Portugal Open at Morgado Golf and Country Club.
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