McDonald makes move and Forrest & Ferguson expected to follow suit
Jack McDonald says he believes he is ‘ready to make the transition’ after turning professional. The 23-year-old has called time on his stellar amateur career, joining the likes of Louis Oosthuizen, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood and Danny Willett in Chubby Chandler’s International Sports Management stable. Kilmarnock Barassie golfer McDonald joins fellow countryman Scott Jamieson and former Walker Cup teammate Gavin Moynihan in the ISM ranks. “I’ve done a lot in the amateur game now,” said McDonald, who was part of the Scotland side that won the European Amateur Team Championship last year before going on to win two-and-a-half points from a possible three in Great Britain and Ireland’s Walker Cup win over the USA at Royal Lytham & St Annes last September.
“I think my game is there so I’m looking to just keep improving. There are plenty of great names that have thrived at ISM and I’ll definitely benefit from working with Chubby and the team.”
Chandler added: “Jack has a lot of potential and I’m confident we can help him achieve his dreams.”
Meanwhile, McDonald’s fellow Scottish Walker Cup winners, Grant Forrest and Ewen Ferguson, have also put pen to paper on representation deals ahead of their anticipated moves to the professional game later this year.
The pair have aligned themselves with Edinburgh-based Bounce Sport, which manages the affairs of European Tour stars Stephen Gallacher, Craig Lee and Andrew McArthur, and which has been instrumental in the success of the Team Scottish Hydro initiative since its launch in 2011.
Craigielaw golfer Forrest and Bearsden’s former British Boys champion Ferguson intend to remain amateur for the time being and make use of the support being offered to them through a new partnership between Bounce and Scottish Golf.
Under the terms of this new arrangement, the country’s leading amateurs will receive at least four starts on the Challenge Tour this season. The move follows the introduction of new regulations that allow amateur golfers to earn points on the Challenge Tour’s Road to Oman Order of Merit and potentially secure playing rights for the European Tour. Under the new rules, amateurs who play a minimum of four tournaments will be given a ranking from which they are entitled to earn a full category the following season, providing they turn pro in time to take up membership.
A number of the country’s female players will also benefit from starts on the Ladies European Tour and LET Access Series.
Forrest and Ferguson will both compete in four Challenge Tour events over the coming year, while Australian Amateur champion Connor Syme, South African Amateur winner Craig Ross, and Robert MacIntyre, the current Scottish Amateur champion, will also get starts.
Iain Stoddart, a founding partner of Bounce Sport, added: “We are delighted to take up what we see as a responsibility for these players as they transition from amateur to professional, and work with them as they look to climb the ladder in world golf.
“There are so many things to take care of in preparation for the day you walk out the front door for the first time as a professional golfer and we will use the time between now and then to work hard with Scottish Golf, and relevant partners, to ensure they are set up properly for that day and beyond.”