You had a great finish to last year and gained a full card for Challenge Tour in 2008 ? what?s the Tour like?
It?s strong. There are a lot of good players and you have to play well each week to compete or even just to make the cut. There were so many different winners last year, which shows the depth of competition. Although, having said that, you do get your top-10ers who regularly feature and that?s where you have to be. With something to play for every week, it?s a great developmental tour and it certainly keeps you hungry.
How fun is it playing professionally?
A lot of the guys I played with on the amateur circuit play here and it?s great to see so many friendly faces. Most guys are pretty young so they are just out to have a good time, play good golf and enjoy themselves. The chat is great and it?s nice to have that. People?s perception of our life is that everything is brilliant but the reality is a little different ? the hard graft on the practice ground and the waiting at airports is all part and parcel of it.
2007 was a hell of a year for you ? how do you look back on it now?
In some ways it was my best year ever and in some ways my worst. The tournaments that I played in, the experiences that I?ve had, all made it great and I had a whale of a time, but
I failed to reach the targets that I set myself, which is seriously disappointing. In 10 years, though, I?ll look back at it and think ?07 was some year.
Have you had a lot of advice and help from other professionals?
Phil Mickelson was great at the Masters ? I played a practice round with him and he was so helpful round the greens. Then I played two practice rounds with Robert Allenby and he was really nice and said ?don?t go thinking that you need to change an awful lot when you turn pro, you?ve got the game, you are good enough to win the US Amateur, so trust yourself?. I?ve written down a lot of stuff on my laptop that people have said and if I?m struggling with something I?ll just go back to it.
Is there any particular part of your game you feel you need to work on?
My short game has lapsed a wee bit in the pro ranks and that really pushes you down the field. I played nine holes with Paul Lawrie the other day and he chipped in twice and I didn?t get up and down a couple of times ? so right there that?s four shots gone. You have got to be able to grind it out and shoot one or two over even when you don?t play well. You need that confidence to be able to get up and down all over the course.
What do you do to relax off the course?
Coming from where I do it?s mandatory to watch football. So I follow Aberdeen closely and I swim a lot and play badminton and I love going to the gym ? it helps relieve stress and gives you a bit of lift. Otherwise it?s hanging around with friends and spending as much time as possible with my girlfriend. But she lives in America so it?s not easy!
It?s also great to get to go and visit places while you are away but it?s pretty tight on time. I played the Russian Open last year and we went to Moscow one day, which was brilliant. It?s good to be able to go home and not always say it?s just the same as any other hotel and golf course!