Golfer Holly joins the professionals
CLEETHORPES golfer Holly Clyburn will tee-off as a pro for the first time tomorrow – but with mixed emotions.
The 21-year-old, pictured, has now officially joined the paid ranks and is taking part in the Ladies European Tour Access Series competition in Crete, Greece.
The Curtis Cup winner has been gearing up for the 2013 Ladies European Tour (LET) Qualifying School, which takes place in Marrakech, Morocco, in December.
She was on track to automatically reach the final stages of qualifying because she has been ranked inside the world's top-25 amateurs – an achievement helped by her impressive British Open debut in September, when she finished joint 26th.
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But agonisingly for Clyburn, she slipped down one place to 26th on Tuesday night, and Wednesday was the closing date to enter the Qualification School.
The change came after America's Kyung Kim won the Stanford Intercollegiate in California and rocketed 68 places up the rankings to 19th this week.
And that shift means Clyburn will now need to navigate pre-qualifying rounds, on top of the final stage, to book a spot on next year's Tour.
So ahead of the Qualification School, the former England girls champion left the amateur form blank and turned pro for the LET Access Series event in Crete, where she will compete for money.
"Now I have to do both stages of the Qualifying School, I came to the decision to turn professional now," said Clyburn.
"It was very gutting to move down the rankings so close to the deadline.
"But on the plus side, it'll be good experience to be involved in both stages of the Qualification School.
"And it's good to turn professional and start a new chapter in my career – the most exciting part – now."