• Facebook
  • Twitter

The Story so Far

I was born in Ballymoney, Co Antrim on 13 February 1979, but soon after moved to Belfast with my family - brother Edward, Mum, Dad and our dog.

I went to Strandtown Primary School where I was good enough to play on the school football team, and later moved on to Cabin Hill Prep School before finishing my education at Campbell College. I wasn't a model student by any means but I did pass 9 GCSEs and 3 A-levels. I also played hockey and golf for Campbell College; they didn't have a football team and I was too small to play on the rugby team.

Dad taught Edward and I to play golf at Castlerock Golf Club during our summer holidays - I think I was about 4 or 5 the first time I can remember picking up a club. When we were old enough we played during the winter at Shandon Park Golf Club in Belfast.  My earliest memories of golf are watching my Dad play in the local amateur events.  I then became his caddy aged about 11, and finally played in the events myself from about 16.

After finishing at school I spent a year playing golf full time before deciding to try college golf in America. So in August 1998 I headed to Clemson College, South Carolina where I spent 18 months playing golf in a team that included Lucas Glover, Jonathan Byrd and D J Trahan. We were ranked the number one college golf team in the US, but it was tough to get into the team and we had weekly try outs for the team.  College golf in America was an amazing experience and one I'm glad I tried. When I came home for Christmas in 2000, Dad and I sat down to talk about my golf. My technique was getting worse so we decided I should come home and work with my old coach instead of finishing my degree.

The decision paid off - in 2001 I won the British Amateur Championship. The victory ensured my place in three huge competitions - the Walker Cup Team playing in Sea Island, Georgia in 2001; The Open at Royal Lytham and St Anne's in 2001; and The Masters in Augusta in 2002.  I turned professional following my appearance at the Masters, where I missed the cutt by one shot.

I expected my early professional career to be as successful as my amateur one but it didn't quite work out that way.  I've definitely had my share of ups and downs, but I'm now back on track and playing regularly on the European Tour.  I've won 5 European Tour Titles and have appeared in 2 Majors and 2 World Golf Championship events.

I now live in Templepatrick with my wife Bev. We married in December 2010 and she travels with me almost full time.  Our first child was born in June 2013.

Personal Interests

I like spending time with family and friends away from the golf course, which can be hard as most of my friends are very keen and competent golfers. When I can drag myself off the course we spend time playing pool and watching movies but I love reading fiction. It's escapism.

My other main interest involves cars. I love the noise cars today make, and I'm often found driving around with the windows down to hear the engine noise, even in winter. I also enjoy walking in the countryside; my favourite places for a hike being the North Antrim Coast at home in Northern Ireland and Zermatt in Switzerland. Hiking in Zermatt is not for the faint hearted and it forms part of my fitness regime every year. You need to have a passion away from the game.