Eamonn Brady wasn’t picked for the Ireland’s Home International side at Carnoustie this week.
He had other things on his mind anyway, but like his famous footballing uncle Liam, young Eamonn is taking it all in his stride.
In typical Brady fashion, he will continue doing his own thing. And when he takes his first steps towards a professional golf career at the European Tour’s qualifying school at Chart Hills in Kent next week (Sept 19-22), he will be laying the foundations of his golfing future and deciding his own destiny.
The pressure will be on at Chart Hills, but Eamonn Brady knows a thing or two about the pressures of big-time sport.
After all, his uncle Liam played in three Wembley Cup finals for Arsenal and moved to Juventus for £600,000 when he could have gone to Manchester United for £1.5 million.
And that trademark Brady determination hasn’t been lost on young Eamonn. While it worked out well for ‘Chippy’, who took the Italian game by storm, winning two championships in his first two seasons with the Turin club, Eammon is fiercely determined to make his onw way in the world - on the golf stage.
“All I want to do is play professional golf, and I know I can do it,” he said this week. “People give you all sorts of advice and some have been very helpful, but I have my own agenda and I know what I can do. If I keep my head at Chart Hills then I know I’ll qualify for the second stage.”
He’s confident, but not brash. True to his Dublin roots, Brady is fully aware of the challenge that lies ahead.
But after an amateur season that started so promisingly with his second win in the West of Ireland championship at Rosses Point, Brady’s form took a disastrous nose-dive that finished with his missing out on selection for the Ireland squad for the Home Internationals.
“Initially I was a bit disappointed when I heard the news, but it probably suits me better because Carnoustie finishes the day before Chart Hills, which would leave me very little time to travel down”, he confessed.
In fact, he will stay with one of his footballing uncles during his Qualifying School examination in Kent.
Said Eamonn: “Liam and Ray both live quite near there so it’ll be like a home from home really. And cheaper!”
Having missed out on a Golfing Union of Ireland scholarship this season, “for reasons I still don’t fully understand”, Brady is ready to give the pro game a whirl.
“There comes a time when you just can’t rely on any more handouts, and I’m sure that this is the right move for me”, he added. “I’m back at I’d say 80 percent of my game right now and it’s coming together nicely after being in the doldrums for half the season.”
Thankfully for him, Brady has straighten out the wayward driving that may have cost him his Ireland place.
“I got too technical after the win in the West and had the ‘brilliant’ idea that I need to hit a draw off the tee to combat the left to right wind. That cost me and I had to sort it out while in competition, which made I hard to get results.
“But I’m back to my old fade again now and I’m playing really well. My short game is one of my strengths, especially my putting so that’s why I chose to play Chart Hills of the five qualifying courses. The greens are excellent and I putt well on good greens.”
An economics graduate from East Tennessee University, Brady has more than enough grey matter to make his living on the tour. It might be a mentally testing sport, but the 25-year-old Dubliner has the independence of mind of his great hero, Severiano Ballesteros.
“I can’t play anything like Seve, but I loved his attitude. People say that you shouldn’t turn pro if you haven’t played on the Walker Cup team. Or in the States, they say that you have to make All-American. But I think that only you yourself know how you are progressing. I feel that I have the ability to do it,” he said.
When it comes to advice, Brady relies on former college teammates like Brian Omelia or Keith Nolan, who both turned pro.
Said the Royal Dublin player: “I’ve also spoken to guys like Gary Murphy and Padraig Harrington. Padraig just tells you how it is, straight down the middle. He’s been absolutely great.”
With the support of a very close knit Brady bunch, including all his sporting uncles, Brady will not be lacking support.
A few years ago, before a family fourball at Royal Dublin with, his Uncle Liam bet him a brand new shirt from the pro’s shop that he wouldn’t break 74.
Recalled the former Celtic boss: “I had set Eamonn quite a target since there was a fair wind blowing but he shot a five under par 67 so I had to buy him the shirt. He deserved it.”
And there have been other minor triumphs , too. Such as a 5 and 4 crushing of Darren Clarke in a match between the GUI and Irish Region professionals for the Ruddy Cup at the European Club.
“The big lesson I learned that day was that a tournament professional an hit bad shots, just like me,” remembered Brady this week.
Soon it will be Brady’s turn to show the young guns of the amateur scene just what a tournament professional is capable of.
If he has even a small amount of his uncle Liam’s ball control, he should go far.
Golf architect Pat Ruddy turned detective to give Ireland the edge in next week’s Home Internationals at Carnoustie with a special session at his European Club links.
Perfectionist Ruddy simulated the likely conditions at the Scottish venue by ‘tweaking’ a couple of holes on his County Wicklow masterpiece.
Never a man for half measures, Pat was constantly on the phone to Carnoustie enquiring about the speed of the greens, the width of the fairways and the severity of the rough.
Said international Noel Fox: “It was a superb gesture by Pat Ruddy and the whole Ireland team is extremely grateful. Now let’s see if we can bring home the Championship!”
Whatever happens at Carnoustie, nobody will get close to matching the record of the great Joe Carr.
‘JB’ played 138 Home International matches from 1947 to 1969, winning 78, halving 10 and losing just 50.
Although they didn’t play as often, Ronan Rafferty’s 12 wins out of 16 and Padraig Harrington’s 26 triumphs from 36 games, gave an early indication of their huge promise.
There’s nothing like hitting fairways and greens to improve your scores. That’s why it’s all starting to come right for straight-hitting Kilkenny pro, Gary Murphy.
The 27-year - old is finally settling in on tour after three failed to the tour school and two years ‘exile’ on the Asian Tour.
Ranked 23rd for fairways hit and 14th for greens in regulation, Murphy has already made 12 cuts and challenged for the title in the North West of Ireland Open at the Slieve Russell.
A big breakthrough can’t be far away.