Making it big on the PGA Tour is every young man’s dream, and Oughterard’s Devin Morley admits Seamus Power is a big inspiration as he takes the plunge into the professional ranks this week.
The COVID-19 pandemic gave the Galway man (24) an extra year of eligibility at the University of Louisville, and he used that time to work even harder on his game ahead of this week’s mini-tour debut on the SwingThought Tour at Ravisloe Country Club in Chicago as he prepares for the Korn Ferry Qualifying School where he will meet the likes of Kinsale’s Walker Cup star John Murphy, his teammate in Louisville, as well as Gary Hurley, David Carey, Paul McBride and Paul Murphy.
With no Qualifying School on the European Tour for the second year running, options are limited in Europe.
Getting your foot on the tour ladder is a big challenge, but the PGA Tour’s second-tier tour, the Korn Ferry Tour, offers that chance and Morley hopes to grab it with both hands.
“I always thought I would start my professional career over here,” said Morley, who is fortunate he has dual citizenship through his American-born mother and does not have to worry about visas.
A former Irish Boys international, his immediate future depend on his progress through the stages of the Korn Ferry Tour Q-School, but he’s determined to give professional golf a go and find out if he has what it takes.
“It’s the next step for me,” added Morley, who has some sponsorship from a pair of Louisville-based Tyrone businessmen. “I didn’t see the point in staying amateur much longer and thought it was time to get the ball rolling.”
Players like Pádraig Harrington, Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy will always be an inspiration, but Morley looks to players who came through the US system with West Waterford man Power the first to come through all the tiers in the US to win a PGA Tour event.
“What Seamus has done coming through all the different ranks is very inspiring,” Morley admitted. “The way the game is now, one good week can change your life in golf.
“I am going to do everything I can to be successful at the professional level.”
Irish Independent August 26 2021