The best Scots golfer you’ve never heard of

Jimmy Gunn3

A tie for 27th earned Gunn a cheque for more than $60,000 and, almost as importantly, a ton of world ranking points.

How significant was that? Put it this way: he didn’t actually have a world ranking at the start of the week. He puts much of his success that week down to the course.

Indeed, whilst many bemoaned its condition – Henrik Stenson likened it to ‘brocolli’, whilst Charl Schwartzel witheringly stated that the greens rolled ‘so badly that a good putt misses and a bad one goes in’ – Gunn rose to the challenge.

Jimmy Gunn7

“It really reminded me of playing proper links golf and doing things like aiming away from pins, using slopes, the firmness of everything, the speed of the greens, using a greater degree of imagination,” he says. “That’s the kind of golf that I really like playing.”

Does he miss it? “Oh yeah, for sure.”

I look at those guys as a big source of inspiration

- Jimmy Gunn

Even so, he knows the US provides him with the best chance of making it to the very top, just like it has for Martin Laird and Russell Knox before him.

“I look at those guys as a big source of inspiration,” he says. “To see Scottish guys like me not just getting onto the PGA Tour but playing well and winning on it, it’s huge for your confidence.

Jimmy Gunn8

“I actually caddied for Russell in a tournament about three or four years ago and he finished in the top ten, so I saw then just how good he is and, obviously, he has got better and better, so I’m not surprised at all by how well he has done.”

Based on Knox and Laird’s success and his own experience of playing in the US, is Gunn surprised that more young Scots don’t cross ‘The Pond’ to try and make it?

What you don’t see much of these days is Scottish guys going to college in the US

“Yeah, absolutely,” he says. “What you don’t see much of these days is Scottish guys going to college in the US.

“You used to see a lot of that – even just going back five or six years – but it doesn’t happen so much any more.

Jimmy Gunn9

“I don’t know much about the mini tours in the UK and Europe. All I know is that, on the mini tours in the States, you have guys who have been on and off the main tour for years competing against you.

“Some of them will even use their off-season to come and play in a few events in Arizona to keep their games sharp, guys like Kevin Streelman and Steve Marino.

“So, you’re always playing against seriously good players. That’s been huge for me and, hopefully, I’ll be seeing more of them on the PGA Tour in the not-too-distant future.”

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