In-form Turner books his place on the EuroPro Tour

Ashton Turner was a member of the senior England amateur squad before turning pro late last summer. EMN-171104-102433002
Ashton Turner was a member of the senior England amateur squad before turning pro late last summer. EMN-171104-102433002

Fledgling professional golfer Ashton Turner secured his first win and qualification to a European tour after two sensational rounds.

The Alford ace fired a stunning eight-under round 64 to win the first round of EuroPro Tour qualifying at Stoke by Nayland.

And he repeated the trick just a few days later at Frilford Heath.

He pulled out a six-under par final round 66 to climb into a top 30 finish, earning him automatic qualification to all EuroPro Tour events this season.

“It’s great really; it gets you off to a nice start and gets the confidence nice and high for the season,” Turner said.

“It makes my first year a little easier and gives me a platform now to kick on.”

The 21-year-old was tied for the lead at Stoke after a first round 67, but went on to finish eight shots clear thanks to a stunning second round 64.

His putting hot streak concluded with five straight birdies.

“You know deep down it’s there and you can do it, but those kinds of rounds don’t happen often,” said Turner, who turned pro late last August.

“Things didn’t go my way on the front nine, but on the back nine everything I looked at went in.

“To get my first pro win quite early helps take the pressure off.”

The performance made him the bookies’ favourite for final qualifying at Frilford Heath the following weekend.

But he was unhappy with his standards over the opening two rounds, despite making the cut for the crucial third and final round.

“It was a bit weird to see yourself as tournament favourite, but I put it out of my mind when I was there,” he added.

“I played pretty poorly all week; my long game wasn’t anything to be proud of, and I was scrambling round a little bit.”

Turner went into the final day four shots off the top 30 target to earn full playing rights on the EuroPro Tour.

Adopting a pragmatic approach, his round sparked sensationally into life after reaching the turn.

“I knew I needed a low one, but with the game I had that week it was just about being patient,” he said.

“I didn’t have the game to go firing at the pins and just had to play with what I had and take the chances when they came.

“I played marginally better, but my putting was insane; I had 10 putts on the back nine; it was crazy!”

A brilliant five-under 31 on the back nine helped him shoot the lowest score of the day, lifting him to a share of 19th.

As well as guaranteeing his place in the prime EuroPro events, Turner also secured the maximum seven invites to the Challenge Tour this season.

He added: “My main aim is to get a card for the Challenge Tour next year and the goal the year after is to be on the European Tour.

“I’m not trying to make the jump too soon, but taking it step by step.”