Thriston Lawrence, one of the brightest amateur talents to come from South Africa in recent years, will become the latest young international star to make his professional debut on the European Challenge Tour at this week’s Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts.
Lawrence, the two-time reigning South African Amateur champion and current holder of the Lytham Trophy, will take his first step into the paid ranks in one of the most prestigious tournaments of the Challenge Tour season, at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club.
The 17-year-old, who became the first South African to lift the Lytham Trophy in May, will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of players such as last year’s Scottish Hydro Challenge champion Brooks Koepka, who began his professional career on the Challenge Tour and has since climbed to 70th place in the world.
“I’m looking forward to a new beginning and the experience,” said Lawrence, who recently joined fellow former amateur stars Garrick Porteous and Matt Fitzpatrick in the International Sports Management stable.
“I’m still young, but I think it is good to start early. The more I can learn, the better. I love the game and I want to be the best one day.”
Peter Uihlein, another ISM-managed player, was one of the first young Americans to choose the Challenge Tour as the perfect place to start his professional career in 2012 and that turned out to be a wise decision as he claimed a first European Tour title the following year en route to being named the 2013 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year.
His success, along with that of several other former Challenge Tour players such as Koepka, has sparked a large increase in the number of American and international players opting to take the Challenge Tour and European Tour route to success.
Lawrence follows Frenchmen Cyril Bouniol and Joel Stalter into the Challenge Tour ranks from the amateur game this year, with both having already made a big impression on Europe’s second tier.
Source: European Tour