Marcus makes the grade
An emotional Marcus Armitage got his career back on track by securing a European Tour card after six arduous rounds at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain.
Howley Hall’s Armitage broke down in tears during a post round interview after making bogey at two of the last four holes for a level par round of 71 which dropped him into 16th place. But it was good enough to pave his way for a return to the European Tour which he last qualified for back in 2017.
“It has been a gruelling week. You go through every possible emotion during these six days from thinking about playing on Tour again to messing up. I’m disappointed to finish 16th and it feels strange to have people coming up to you and saying well done. As a competitive individual I always want to finish first.
“Now I just want to get home and see my girlfriend Lucy, my Dad and my dogs. They don’t get to see me the way they should because I’m out here battling and trying my nuts off.
“This year’s been tough, you’re trying your hardest and you’re just not getting anywhere. You miss your family and your missus and they’re not getting the son or the partner that they signed up for.”
He earned less than €15,000 on the Challenge Tour and admits that his first challenge is to get enough money together to pay for his flight and hotel for the first event.
“I might look like I’m switched on but inside I’m going nuts. I’ve had a terrible year and I’ve been through some serious problems this year. I’ve just got back in touch with Duncan McCarthy of Underpin who has been my performance coach and he’s just the guy for me. I was bit jittery the first three days and we’ve been texting, and I said I was going to try to be the calmest person out here. On Monday (when he shot a six-under 65) I only had two putts that didn’t hit the hole.”
He also paid tribute to his caddie Gary Edwards who caddied for Armitage in his debut year on the European Tour.
“Gary’s been on the Tour for years and his dad was also a great caddie. I ended up sacking him that year, but I was naïve then and I wanted more and that was such a big mistake. I rang him before the second stage and asked if he would help, if he had said no I would have just brought a mate. We just gel, he’s so dry and there are a lot of jokes.”
“I missed out by a shot two years ago and I couldn’t afford to come last year. My goal has always been to win on the European Tour. It’s all I think about,” added the man who is known as The Bullet on Tour.
Marcus during one of his better weeks this year
His Howley Hall stablemate Dan Gavins was consistently in the top 25 over the first four rounds but fell away with closing rounds of 72 and 71 with the latter including a homeward nine of 39 shots which saw him miss the top 25 by six shots on six under par.