Patrick Spraggs is well aware that time is running out for him to realise a childhood dream, writes Liam Apicella.
The PGA trainee, who is based at Stonham Barns Golf Centre, has given much of his life to the sport he loves, hoping to eventually make the breakthrough to the main circuit.
It would seem the talent is there, with Spraggs having represented England at amateur level and also Europe in the Arnold Palmer Cup — the university equivalent of the Ryder Cup.
He also earned himself a PGA EuroPro Tour card in 2013, only for a lack of finances to throw a spanner in the works.
The need for sponsorship remains just as strong four years later and, aged 26, Spraggs has been forced to make alternative plans.
“It was so frustrating to have that card sat there in a drawer at home and not be able to use it,” he said.
“I have been doing a little bit of coaching and have one year left to go on my qualification, but I see myself as a player.
“I still grind away and practice, but I am juggling that with a job now, which is not always easy.
He continued: “It is a case of keeping my head down, working hard and hoping for a break.
“It seems as much about who you know as how well you are playing out on the course.
“A sponsor would help me to commit more time to golf and get myself back involved with the EuroPro Tour.
“At my age, I probably have another three years to try to make it.”
Spraggs further underlined his credentials during a PGA Order of Merit event at Essex-based Bentley Golf Club last month.
Having already eagled the 488-yard par-5 10th, he followed it up by landing an albatross on the same hole, chipping in from around the 160-yard mark with the use of a wedge.
Despite those heroics, Spraggs eventually had to settle for a share of 26th place overall, after rounds of 71 and 76.
Nevertheless, his five-stroke performance on hole 10 will continue to live long in the memory.
“I have had a couple of eagles before, but never an albatross,” he added.
“I had been close a couple of times, but you never expect it to happen.
“To eagle and then albatross the same hole is pretty insane.
“I did not see the ball go in and it was not until the pair in front said they thought it had gone in that I realised what had happened.
“It would have been great to see the ball roll in the hole, but they all count.”
As well as his playing and coaching duties, Westhorpe resident Spraggs is also the team manager of Suffolk Under-18s.
This is a role he has held since April of this year when replacing Trevor Mason.