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Last Updated: Monday, 31 January 2005, 09:16 GMT
Pressure on for Englishman abroad
Brian Davis
By Brian Davis
European and US Tour pro

Brian Davis
1974 Born in Camberley, Surrey
1992 Wins prestigious Peter McEvoy Trophy as amateur
1994 Turns pro, plays on US Challenge tour
1996 Second in European Tour School, earns card
2000 First title, the Spanish Open
2002 Marries Julie Clemence, finishes 2nd during honeymoon
2003 Claims 11 top-10 finishes, 9th on Order of Merit
2004 Wins ANZ Championship, wins US Tour School

  • Brian will be filing monthly reports from his life as a professional on the US and European Tour.

    Winning the US Tour school gave me some credibility over here but I still felt like the new kid on the block in my first couple of tournaments.

    I know a few of the guys, Europeans mostly like Luke Donald and Freddie Jacobson, but it's like any sport - you have to come out and prove yourself again. Nobody wants to give you any advantage.

    At least I haven't disgraced myself yet - tied 30th at the Buick Invitational despite a third-round 77 which could have been 87, and tied 14th at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, so I'm happy with my start.

    But I'm under pressure. My exemption means I can play automatically in the first six events of the year, which admittedly is a huge bonus for mental preparation.

    I'm not going to keep hopping across the Atlantic - it doesn't work
    Brian Davis

    But my nine-month-old son Oliver was rushed to hospital with suspected pneumonia - he's fine now - and I missed the opener, the Sony Open in Hawaii.

    The exemption rankings get re-done after the Tucson Classic in February, so I need to be in a good spot for the rest of the year to get into the big events and majors.

    Last year's goals were to make the Ryder Cup team and get my US Tour card. One out of two's not bad, so the saying goes, but I was very disappointed not to play in Oakland Hills.

    This time, I'm not looking any further than this "West Coast Swing" in America.

    I'm based in Orlando, Florida, with my wife Julie and Oliver, but we're out here in California driving between the west coast events.

    I'll stay here until probably the British Masters in May before playing over in Europe during the summer, although a lot depends on the re-rank.

    I'm not going to keep hopping across the Atlantic. Players have tried that and it doesn't work.

    Tiger Woods
    We've got to thank Tiger for bringing the fans to the game
    Brian Davis

    Being over here is just a great experience. We get to see so many places, we both like the sun and my wife's happy here, which makes it easier for me to concentrate on golf.

    But the wife and I keep each other constantly amused with fake American accents - no-one in the restaurants can understand us with our normal ones!

    Life on Tour does have a few differences over here.

    Obviously, the courses are set up differently to Europe - the greens are firmer, the fairways are narrower and the rough thicker.

    But the atmosphere is different too.

    It is more individual than in Europe. When we travel around over there pretty much the whole field is staying in about three hotels.

    The guys tend to come out for the week so we go out for dinner together and it is a bit more sociable.

    On the US Tour, everyone's spread all over the place, and lots of people travel with their families.

    But one thing I've noticed is that the players have quite a good rapport with the spectators.

    I'm really looking forward to playing at Scottsdale, Arizona, this week.

    They get about 120,000 people at the Stadium Course, and there are thousands of them around the tee at the 17th, a driveable par four with water everywhere. The crowd clap and cheer if you hit the green and boo if you miss it.

    It is a bit of fun and we've got to thank Tiger for bringing the fans to the game. It's not an elitist sport now - you'll get people there who are just sports fans, not just golf fans.

    Davis snatches ANZ title
    15 Feb 04 |  Golf
    Davis targets elite
    15 Dec 03 |  Golf

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