Had life taken a different turn, James Morrison may well have been occupying the crease at Trent Bridge today.
Instead, as former England underage cricket contemporaries Alastair Cook and Tom Bresnan take on the West Indies, Morrison takes on the West Course at Wentworth, where he leads the BMW PGA Championship by a healthy four shots.
A dazzling second-round, eight under-par 64 catapulted the 27-year-old to 12 under par at halfway in his home county of Surrey, four ahead of world number two Luke Donald and first-round co-leader David Drysdale of Scotland, with Ireland’s Peter Lawrie and Alvaro Quiros of Spain a further shot back.
Not bad for a lad who only started playing golf aged 16, having previously spent his time opening the batting for Surrey and England’s youth teams.
“I was England youth when I was 13, 14, played county cricket from when I was seven to 17 so that was my life, like golf is now,” Morrison said yesterday.
“I started playing golf when I was 16 and went from 18 (handicap) to scratch in 10 months and haven’t really looked back.
“Playing golf is better than standing in a field all day, I can tell you that. It’s been a good decision.”
It could be about to pay off bigger than ever for Morrison if he prevails in this €4.5 million tournament. Since joining the European Tour in 2009, he has one win to his name, the 2010 Madeira Islands Open BPI-Portugal, while his prize money this year from making half of his cuts in 10 events amounts to €50,965. All of which puts the day he had yesterday, shooting eight under par in the European Tour’s flagship tournament, into quite some perspective.
“No doubt. This is my third year on Tour. I’ve won, but this is different level. Definitely one of the bets rounds I’ve ever had.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved