A quick 18 with Chris Paisley

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Q&A: Get to know European Tour winner Chris Paisley

Callaway star Chris Paisley is a multiple winner on the European Tour, bagging the BMW SA Open last year. The following week he finished fifth in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, entering the world’s top 100 for the first time. He hails from Hexham in Northumberland, and we caught up with him to find out more about him. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisPaisley86 

q: What’s your Biggest achievement?

Getting my wife pregnant... or winning the South Africa Open.

q: Biggest disappointment?

When I missed the first stage of Q School qualifying, just after I turned pro. I expected to breeze through and get onto the European Tour, so that was a kick in the stomach. I didn’t know what I was going to do after that. 

q: Best advice you’ve been given?

I’ve received a lot in my life. I don’t even know who told me this, but to get a good team around you and have complete trust in them and what you’re doing. 

q: Best advice you’d give?

Don’t worry about results. Just focus on the process and getting better. I think that was something that held me back in the past. I was always too anxious to get good results.  

q: Most extravagant purchase?

I bought a Rolex after I finished third in Germany. That was my first big pay cheque. It was five and a half grand.

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q: Career Plan B?

I don’t think there is one! I’d probably work for Andy, my brother and coach, as his assistant.

q: Course you’d love to play?

Sea Island. We used to have our colleague conference championships there. It’s out on the marshland in Georgia, and in amazing condition. It’s not overly long; it’s quite tight and just a great course to play.

q: Recommend a course in your homeland?

Hexham Golf Club in the north east.

q: Tell us something that would surprise people about you?

I’ve got one kidney. 

q: Hidden talent?

I can draw quite well. Caricatures mostly. In my last year in college, I drew a massive one of everyone who was on the golf team. I printed them off, framed them, and gave one to every player.  

q: Best thing about being a tour pro?

When you’re in contention and hitting shots under pressure. The buzz of the crowd is so satisfying.

q: And the worst?

Travelling to places like China and missing the cut. On my first year on tour, I needed a good result in my last event which was in Australia. I flew on from Portugal and got in in the early hours of Wednesday morning. I then missed the cut, lost my card, and flew back home Friday night.

q: If you could change one thing about your game, what would it be?

To drive it like Dustin Johnson or Brooks Koepka. 

q: Swing you’re jealous of?

Probably Tiger Woods. He’s the best player of all time in my opinion. 

q: Player you’d least like to caddie for?

Someone like Thomas Bjorn. He’s pretty harsh. I get the impression he gives his caddie a hard time.

q: Most embarrassing moment?

In my second event as a pro, I was playing on the Challenge Tour in Strasbourg. On the second hole of my first round, one of my playing partners was in the left rough and the other was in the trees on the right. I just said ‘I’ll go ahead lads’.  I hit this shot right down the flagstick, thinking it was going to be perfect, but it came up short in the water. I then realised that I was hitting to the wrong green. My green was 45 degrees to the right. I had even played a practice round before so I knew the course. Or at least I thought I did!

q: For or against a world golf tour?

Against. I probably wouldn’t be on it, and out of a job!

q: What would you prefer: To win a Major or hole the winning putt in the Ryder Cup?

Winning a Major, and then I’d take just winning the Ryder Cup. Not holing the winning putt. I won’t be greedy.

Sarah Pyett