Michael McDermott happy with change of direction

His time on the PGA EuroPro Tour may not have suited Michael McDermott but life as a PGA professional has helped him find happiness in achieving a good life-golf-work balance and enabled him to finally make his debut at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

The 34-year-old Dubliner will tee up in his national Open for the first time at Royal County Down today, the reward for a strong 2014 season on the Irish PGA Regional Order of Merit and coming 11 years after first turning pro.

McDermott got his PGA qualifications in 2009 and plied his trade at Leopardstown Golf Centre until January before becoming an in-store PGA Pro at American Golf in Dundrum.

His employers and colleagues have taken over Quinns Bar on Main St, Newcastle, for the weekend to cheer McDermott on as he realises a long-held ambition.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but I can’t tell you what it’s going to mean to me until afterwards because it’s all going to be new. But the goal was always to play in it.”

He left the EuroPro Tour in 2009 having won a tournament a couple of years earlier and right now has no hankering to return to life on the road.

“If I got an opportunity to play a few tournaments I’d love to but it’s that balancing act on the road.

“It’s expensive, you need to be playing full-time and at the moment, no, I don’t quite have the drive to get back out there and at the moment I’m enjoying the level of competitive golf that I am playing. The Irish Open is a lovely opportunity to get out there.”

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