Experience the key for Aaron Rai
Former Shropshire & Herefordshire junior Aaron Rai believes experience was the key behind securing a place alongside the golfing elite.
Rai grabbed his third European Challenge Tour win of the season on Sunday when he triumphed in the Le Vaudreil Golf Challenge in Normandy – a victory that will now see him rubbing shoulders with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia on the flagship European Tour.
“It’s difficult to pick any one thing that has been particularly key, but I think a full year last year on the Challenge Tour made a big difference in terms of knowing a few of the courses and having the experience of this level of golf,” said the 22-year-old.
“I had a better feel for what was required to do well and I think that experience was the most important thing in helping me this year.
“I approached Sunday very similarly to the other wins in Kenya and Spain and just tried to stick to the same gameplan and stay in the present as much as possible – sometimes it can be hard to do that but it certainly went pretty well on that front.
“To say there were no nerves would be a lie because there are always nerves, whether it’s your first win or your third, but you have to try to put it to one side.
“As soon as you finish it never really sinks in, but as soon as I saw my dad we had a smile together and it was a really special moment to be able to share it with him.”
Rai joined the Challenge Tour after coming through the EuroPro Tour in 2016 and secured his maiden victory at Barclays Kenya Open before triumphing in the Andalucia Costa del Sol Match Play.