sport

Sunbury footgolf star eyes 'Ryder Cup' success

Scotchford is ranked sixth in the UK in the ever-growing sport

Fore! Scotchford launches one

Sunbury firefighter Mark Scotchford has qualified to play in the first ever footgolf Ryder Cup when it takes place this spring.

The former semi-pro footballer finished last year sixth in the UK footgolf standings, earning him a place in the UK team for the Jansen Cup, named after one of the sport's founding fathers.

It is being billed as footgolf's Ryder Cup, the only difference being that it is a UK team rather than a European one taking on the finest players from across the pond.

The four-day tournament will take place in Palm Springs from May 21, and a few days afterwards, Scotchford will travel down to Las Vegas to take part in the USA ProAm, which has a £25k prize up for grabs, too.

Lining one up: Scotchford on the course

What do you get when you cross football with golf?

He said: “It's been a good year. The sport is really taking off in the UK, and to finish sixth out of the hundreds of ranked players over here is really pleasing. It also means I have progressed year on year since taking up footgolf.

“I'm now looking forward to being part of the UK team to take on the best that the Americans have to offer, but it won't be easy as they have some really good individuals and did really well as the FIFG World Cup last summer.”

Scotchford, who was also in Brentford FC's books as a youngster, is hoping to improve on his own personal showing at the FIFG out in Argentina, where he came joint 46th out of 250 players.

Ponderous: Planning the next shot

Former Brentford youngster eyes World Cup medal

He said: “I could have done better to be honest, but this will be another chance to show what I can on the international stage and test myself against some of the world's best.”

Fortunately, Scotchford's work as a firefighter, for which he received a commendation last year, allows him to work his shifts around playing in tournaments.

He does not play football any more, apart from a weekly seven a side session in the Power League at Sunbury, instead concentrating on his new sport. A sponsorship deal has also been struck woth Monster Shop.

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