Scottish golfer Jimmy Gunn is gearing up for a crack at the Web.com Tour in 2014 – with a little help from a Native American tribe.
The Dornoch man finished in sixth place last week at a qualifier for the PGA Tour’s second tier circuit, formerly the Nationwide Tour. As such, he has full status for the first 12 tournaments of the season, with the promise of a place on the PGA Tour a tantalising prospect if he can finish in the top 25 of the tour’s money list next year.
However, what makes Gunn’s progress all the more astonishing is his unlikely source of support.
The Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort and Circling Raven Golf Club in Idaho has sponsored him ever since he moved to America in 2008 to pursue his dreams of becoming a professional golfer.
Jimmy Gunn first came to their attention in 2005 when he was part of a 12-man team representing Royal Dornoch Golf Club, pictured above, that visited Circling Raven to compete a Ryder Cup-style competition with a team representing CRGC and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.
“I feel very, very blessed and, of course, I’m forever grateful" - Jimmy Gunn
The bond created in that event eventually led to Gunn’s business relationship with Circling Raven and the casino. They helped him gain a US Sports Visa and assisted him in playing on one of America’s satellite circuits, the Gateway Tour. He lists Circling Raven as his home course and uses a bag with the club’s logo on it.
It’s a bag – and logo – that will now be seen on the Web.com Tour next season following his success in last week’s qualifier.
“There is no question I wouldn’t have this opportunity without the support from the Coeur d’Alene Casino, Circling Raven and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe,” saod Gunn said. “It’s been a long time coming but that support has got me here and I intend to take advantage. I feel like I can play with anyone, with the very best in the game.
“I feel very, very blessed and, of course, I’m forever grateful.”
Casino chief executive officer Dave Matheson added: “The Royal Dornoch/Circling Raven event was unique. We wanted to share our course with players from Royal Dornoch, one of the greatest courses in the world. It’s a further reward to see the friendships that have grown, and to see the opportunities now coming for Jimmy Gunn.”
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