After only coming through the Challenge Tour’s season-long Road to Mallorca this month, Cormac Sharvin admits that the quick turnaround ahead of making his full European Tour debut next week in South Africa is taking some getting used to.
The Ardglass professional, who enjoyed eight top-10 finishes in his most consistent campaign as a professional thus far, has been trying to balance celebrations with preparations with next week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship signalling the start of the new season.
Just three golfers played less events than Sharvin inside the top-15 on the Order of Merit who earned their cards this year and the 27-year old admits that he won’t get caught diving into an ill-advised schedule just because of his new found status on the top tier of European golf.
“It’s definitely a bit strange,” Sharvin laughed, “but that’s just the way it is. I plan to play South Africa, Mauritius and then take time off until probably Abu Dhabi next year.
“It’s been a weird thing of trying to find the balance between prep and time off after a long season. If it got to the stage where I thought, ‘do you know what, I feel like I’m not ready to go down there [to South Africa] and compete’, I might not go!
“I don’t want to go down there and feel like I’m tired after a long year. I actually want to go wanting to be there. I’ve learned that I play well whenever I’ve had a bit of time off. For me, the thinking behind it was that I wanted to be as fresh as I could be the weeks I teed it up in order to give myself the best chance to compete. I did that really well this year and it’s not something I’m going to veer away from.”
There will be plenty of exciting new challenges for Sharvin to undertake this season whether he tees up in South Africa or not. There were some astonishing scores shot around supposedly gentler tests on the Challenge Tour last season, six-under par halfway cut marks and 24-under par winning totals, but regardless of what the new schedule on the European Tour may bring, Sharvin believes he’s got the mindset and the game to adapt to any obstacle.
“I think on any Tour, you’re going to get weeks where there’s really low scoring and other weeks it won’t be so great. I’ve worked on being able to adapt to the golf course rather than saying, ‘this golf course really suits me’.
“I don’t think golf courses are meant to suit you; you’ve got to be able to change your game plan to enable you to compete every given week. Each week will test a different part of your game and the Challenge Tour have done a really good job this year in setting up courses more similar to what you’re going to find on the Main Tour.
“Plus, you’ve got to remember, to get to 24-under par is very difficult!