Jason McCreadie knows he's not getting any younger but the passing of time has not diminished the Tartan Tour stalwart's ambition.
Galvanised by watching Darren Clarke striking a blow for the over-40s and winning the Open Championship last month, the Buchanan Castle professional is still chasing the dream. “Darren gave all of us older boys inspiration didn’t he?” said the 41-year-old, one of a handful of domestic PGA professionals included in the Johnnie Walker Championship field.
“He has the beer belly and likes a drink. It’s embarrassing when you see how slim some of these boys are out here but something like Darren’s win keeps us older guys going.”
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This week, McCreadie, who won the Scottish PGA title over the PGA Centenary course in 2008, gets another chance to briefly dine at the top table and perhaps earn that career-changing cheque that makes all the toil at the coalface worthwhile.
A tidy sum would come in handy. He’s brought in around £11,000 so far this year on home soil but with £1200 going out on an entry fee for the forthcoming European Tour qualifying school, this ‘chasing the dream’ lark doesn’t come cheap.
“I try the tour school every year,” he added. “It’s always worth a shot. I’ll maybe give it up when the bank manager tells me to.”
Competing largely on the pro-am based Tartan Tour is perhaps not the ideal preparation for the rigours of a full-blown European contest, but McCreadie has been around long enough to know what’s in store.
“This is where you want to be playing,” he added. “I’ve played in this maybe seven or eight years but I’ve won over this course before and you try and bring that experience with you.
“For us Tartan Tour boys, the biggest thing is playing in front of a lot of people. It can be quite daunting but you get used to it. Nobody is expecting us to do that well, so we can have a free run at it and try and earn some real money. We always have hope”
There’s still a bit of golfing life left in this over-40. “Only just,” he said with a smile.