Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy has a winner’s mentality going into the new season as he looks to kick off the PGA EuroPro Tour campaign in positive fashion at this week’s Cubefunder Shootout.
The 28-year-old picked up his maiden professional victory at last year’s Cubefunder Championship and was so close to earning a Challenge Tour card for next season, finishing just outside the top five on the Order of Merit that earn promotion.
This year, McElroy is intent on finishing in that top five and having the memory of winning last season has him entering this year’s schedule in a more positive frame of mind.
“I know now that when I play well I will be competing, and having that win means I know that I can do it again when I’m up around the top of the leaderboard,” he said.
“That (mentality) was missing. There had been four or five events where I’d put myself in a good position and I hadn’t won, and maybe it wasn’t down to me, it was down to other people playing well. But just to have that in the back of your mind coming down the stretch, you can say to yourself, ‘I’ve had a win, I know I can do it, so just stick to what you do well and you’ll be grand’.
“I’m going into this season pretty confident and I’m excited to see how it all pans out.”
While he starts his season on the EuroPro Tour, McElroy has the backing of Team Ireland, which comes with additional starts on the Challenge Tour, and he hopes that could be another avenue to more opportunities.
“Top five (in the EuroPro Order of Merit) is a tough ask, you have to play well all season to finish in that,” he added.
“Even if you play five or six Challenge Tour events, that gives you enough of a chance to build up enough money to get a good category, if not top 70 for your full card next season. All it takes is one or two big finishes on the Challenge Tour and you’ve given yourself a chance of making the step up, so I’m hoping for six or so starts to give the opportunity.”