BROOKLINE, Mass. – Neil Raymond is finally ready to turn pro – at age 27.
That was the plan after the start of this year, after cracking the top 50 in the R&A’s World Amateur Rankings, and he’s sticking to it. But for the first time in a while, Raymond now thinks that he can make a dent in the pro game, a feeling emboldened by his quarterfinal appearance here at the U.S. Amateur. He also was co-medalist during the stroke-play portion of this championship.
So, why didn’t he turn pro earlier?
“I wasn’t good enough,” the Englishman said, matter-of-factly. “I was under no allusions that I could compete frequently enough. Turning pro would just be diluted.”
He’s been a four-year member of the men’s elite squad in England, and the full-time amateur has seen marked improvement with his scoring clubs – 150 yards and in – the past few years.
Though he lost here in the quarterfinals to Corey Conners, 5 and 3, Raymond hopes that he has done enough to earn a spot on the Walker Cup team for Great Britain and Ireland.
“I fancy my chances,” he said. “That dream is still alive.”