Having established himself as one of the most formidable forces on the Tartan Tour over the past ten to 15 years, Chris Kelly admits that he still harbours a dream of making it on the European Tour - and, with the support of Team Scottish Hydro, he believes he has a chance to get there.
The 36-year-old Cawder professional is one of seven players who will receive the support of the scheme this year. His inclusion in the line-up is a change to the dynamic of the initiative, in that he becomes the first Tartan Tour professional to join the ranks. That is, in part, down to the need to have a representative at home to fulfil corporate responsibilities that form part of the team’s agreement. However, Kelly is determined to take full advantage of the backing.
“Any support is greatly appreciated, so when I got the call to say I was in, I was delighted,” revealed Kelly. “The last few years have been quite tough, not having much help so hopefully this will help me push on.”
"Whilst it’s great to watch Craig and Chris on the European Tour, it’s also difficult" - Chris Kelly
To Kelly’s mind, ‘push on’ means giving himself the best chance to follow his contemporaries and former Team Scottish Hydro members Craig Lee and Chris Doak in trading-in the Tartan Tour for the European Tour.
“I’m not going to lie, whilst it’s great to watch Craig and Chris on the European Tour, it’s also difficult when you have so much golf with them and have been there or thereabouts yourself,” he added. “It gives you the belief that, if they can do it, you can, too.”
As well as playing on the Tartan Tour - where he has been one of the most prolific winners over the past decade - and the EuroPro Tour, Chris Kelly will also have the opportunity of a handful of starts on the Challenge Tour as well as a place in the field for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May.
Chris Kelly & Team Scottish Hydro
For more information on Chris Kelly and the rest of the 2014 Team Scottish Hydro line-up, pick up issue 130 of bunkered, on-sale next week from all good newsagents.