Alan Dunbar has joined Darren Clarke and world No 3 Lee Westwood in the ISM management stable under new amateur rules.
The British Amateur champion, 22, missed the cut on six over after a 71 but will play in next week’s Austrian Open on a sponsor’s invite believing he has a future on tour
He said: “I played well. I was a bit disappointed with yesterday, one bad decision and two bad shots cost me but I played well today and had plenty of chances. I just didn’t hole many putts.
“It doens’t get much bigger than this and I didn’t feel out of place playing in the Open. I want more of this.
“I know I am good enough to play at this level. I was five over yesterday because of three holes and today I was two pver after four which is not ideal but I hung on and had a chance coming in to the back nine to make the cut.
“I was five over playing 16 and tried to hit a three wood up close on 16. It was tough to make birdie laying up but I blocked myself out totally and made bogey. At least I gave it a go.
“I really enjoyed the whole week and competiing and it was great to play with Adam Scott for the first two days. He just told me to keep on plugging away.”
Dunbar signed with ISM under the new Rules of Amateur status on Monday and hopes to make an impact in next month’s European Individual Amateur Championship at Carton House so he can climb the World Amateru Golf Ranking and earn an exemption into the second stage of Q-School.
“It obviously makes this easier as an amateur,” Dunbar said of his decision to join ISM. “It is easier to organise an itinerary. I have an invitation for next week’s Austrian Open and hope to get a few more starts before the Masters and the US Open next year.
“Then I have the European Individual and the goal is to get into the top 15 in the World Amateur Rankings. I am 25th and the top five who are inside the top 15 get exempt into Stage Two of Q-Schoo. If I don’t make it, I will just go to the first stage in Manchester.”
Clarke believes Dunbar has the talent to make it, explaining: “Shooting six over in the Open is not bad at all. Not bad. He will be fine. You don’t win a tournament like the British Amateur unless you are a proper player.”
Dunbar, who won the Amateur Championship in June, is believed to be the first golfer to take advantage of the new rule that enables amateurs to sign with a professional management company.