Carew still eyeing pro dream: I want to be able to say at least I gave it a go

Ronan MacNamara

Quentin Carew (Photo by Cameron Smith/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

It’s just shy of one year since Castleknock’s Quentin Carew pulled off one of the great comebacks in Irish amateur golf to come from four down after nine holes and stop the seemingly all-conquering Hugh Foley at the AIG Irish Amateur Close Championship.

Carew, a 200-1 outsider rifled a 2-iron from 267 to eight-feet on the 20th hole in Headfort to claim the biggest win of his career and one that completely changed his mindset towards golf. Suddenly, doors that seemed locked were ajar.

The Allenwood man has been weighing up the decision to turn professional since, which would be quite the leap considering he isn’t a full-time amateur, balancing his golf with a job as a Garda in Tallaght. But at 32 years of age, he is still extremely keen to give it a go with a decision seemingly imminent after his Irish Close defence in Malone later this month.


“It’s definitely on the cards it’s just about making a decision on what the best route is. DP World Tour closes in a couple of weeks for entries and I had been considering that,” explains the long-time Edenderry member who has the option of taking a career break. “It’s a hefty entrance fee so if you are doing it, it’s all in. I have a couple of other options I was looking at Sunshine Tour which is early April for Q-School in South Africa so just working out what’s the best one.

“I do want to do it I want to be able to say at least I gave it a go rather than sitting back in ten years time and thinking why didn’t I try. I have great support here, my girlfriend is 100% behind me. We are trying to buy a house and she’s still encouraging me to go and do it so I am lucky in that sense that she is in my corner.

“I said I would see how the next week or two goes and make a decision then on what I want to do with it but yeah it’s definitely on the cards.

“The standard in golf is so good. We are lucky that the Irish amateur cycle is unbelievably good. The lads last month finishing third at the European Championships showing that we have some of the best amateur golfers in Europe. So, it does help you.”

While Carew’s sentiments about the quality of Irish amateur golf are true, nothing can really prepare you for that first toe dip into the professional ranks. He got a first taste of pro life at last month’s Open Championship Final Qualifying in Royal Porthcawl where he saw first hand the standard he needs to reach to even have a chance of cutting his teeth at the top level.

Carew was drawn with Thai star Jazz Janewattananond and perhaps that was the best example of how difficult life on tour can be. Jazz a former world’s top-40 player has fallen outside the top 260. Despite qualifying for the Open Championship in Royal Liverpool the 27-year-old propped up the field on +22.

For Carew, Final Qualifying was a learning curve of how to conduct yourself in a tour environment.

“I played Oliver Farr and Jazz Janewattananond in the Open Qualifying and I saw the level they are at, they are DP World Tour players, that’s the next step,” affirms Carew who has been picking the brains of former European Tour winner Peter Lawrie. They play full time so that helps as well I suppose they have a good set up around them. I’m not naive, I know it’s not an easy road up to the top but if I’m going there I have to have the belief that I’m going to get to where I need to get to.

“It really felt like you were in a big professional event. I was lucky I had a good group so there were a lot of people out watching. Paul (Coughlan) came over to caddie for me and he got the Open bib with my name on it and it was class I have to say, it really felt like you were in a proper tournament.

“Seeing some of the players there was unreal. I was hitting balls beside Matthew Southgate and being in and around other DP World Tour players was deadly.”

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