What a week of golf it has been for Lurgan man Gareth Shaw, who brought his Tour earnings to over 100,000 euros in just seven days with another superb display at the Alstom French Open.
Gareth won the right to play in Paris, home of the Disneyland theme park, after his performance at the Irish Open and despite mixing it with a world class field his rollercoaster week continued as he not only achieved his target of making the cut, but handled a course that many of the top golfers wilted on.
“It has been an amazing week,” said Gareth who is relaxing in France after his latest efforts. “I suppose there are mixed emotions - thrilled to do so well, but yet a bit disappointed I missed getting into the Scottish Open by one shot. The bogey on 14 made all the difference. I would have loved to have kept this momentum going. However, I am really pleased with my game and how I was able to back up the performance in Dublin.”
Last week Gareth told the Mail taking part in such a high profile event was a bit daunting especially when he looked at the field. “It is by far the biggest event and the best field of players I have competed against. The most important thing is to forget about who is playing and play the course.”
Easier said than done as many of the household names fell by the wayside on what proved to be a course with some teeth. “It was the best course I have competed on, proper golf as I say,” added the 27-year-old. “But it was so demanding, you really had to concentrate the whole time.”
Moving up from the Challenge Tour to play in the last two high profile tournaments on the European Tour means there has been no rest period for Gareth who also missed a trip back home to attend the wedding of his best friend, Lurgan Cricket Club captain Stephen Johnston.
“Stephen got married last Thursday and I had to miss out on that, but we’ll meet up soon.” Right now Gareth is hoping for invites which will give him the chance to boost his income, another 100,000 would earn him a full place on the Tour next season. “I have been told there is a chance of some invites which is an exciting prospect, but until that happens I will keep playing on the Challenge Tour and hopefully keep improving. I was hoping of an outside chance of a late call for Scotland. I should feel tired at this stage, it must be the adrenalin but I just want to keep playing.”
No matter what happens, Gareth has now shown he has the talent and the game to compete with Europe’s best and his family and friends back home are not surprised he is putting Lurgan on the golfing map.