Talentspotter: Conor Gough

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Meet the teenager who has been tipped for stardom by Tommy Fleetwood... 

Who is he?
England’s next big thing. Ranked as the 11th best amateur in the world, Conor made his European Tour debut, aged 16, at the British Masters, the same place Tommy Fleetwood did in 2008. 

Not bad. I was sitting my GCSE exams when I was 16...
So is Conor! He had an exam the week after teeing it up at Hillside, hence when he wasn’t playing he was busy revising! Rounds of 77 and 74 meant he missed the cut by nine shots on seven-over.  

Why am I only hearing about him now?
You’re not – or perhaps you missed that he won the Boys Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush last year. He also claimed the Fairhaven Trophy, represented Team Europe at the Junior Ryder Cup, and joined Justin Rose as a winner of the English Under-16 McGregor Trophy.

He’s pretty big news, then?
He has been for a while. Aged 13, he shot a nine-under 62 at Stoke Park to break the course record. More recently, he won England Golf’s Performance of the Year Award – and the praise of Fleetwood – for his 2018 season, and is expected to become the second youngest Walker Cup player in history in September.

Will we be seeing more of him on the European Tour?
You might still see him at The Open! His win at Royal Portrush earned him a place in the Final Round of Open Qualifying, as well as a spot in the Amateur Championship at Portmarnock. Coaches at England Golf rate him as the best young talent they’ve produced since Matt Fitzpatrick, so expect him to be fast-tracked into the professional ranks.