Sport Golf

Monday 19 March 2018

Cutler bags 'Wobbly' to kickstart life in paid ranks

Karl MacGinty

WALKER CUP hero Paul Cutler will have world-class English caddie Phil 'Wobbly' Morbey on his bag when he makes his professional debut in next week's €1m Austrian Open.

Cutler (22) has joined Dublin firm Horizon Sports Management, who yesterday unveiled exciting plans to give him a golden shot in pro golf.

They also have acquired an invite for Cutler to the following week's €3.6m Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, with the chance of further lucrative action for the Portstewart prospect at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, Portugal Masters and Barclays Singapore Open.

With sponsorship deals to be finalised by the end of this week with a major golf equipment manufacturer and another company, Cutler will have no financial pressures bearing down upon him as he makes the transition into professional golf.

Yet Cutler, top scorer in last weekend's Walker Cup as he bade a spectacular farewell to the amateur ranks on the winning GB&I team, really has fallen on his feet with caddie Morbey.

A US Masters winner with Ian Woosnam and Jose Maria Olazabal, 'Wobbly' had agreed to work with Thomas Bjorn for the summer after parting from Ross Fisher following the BMW PGA at Wentworth in May.

After his decision to part with the Dane after last month's US PGA, Morbey jumped at the chance to help Cutler find his feet on Tour.

"Working with 'Wobbly' will be huge for me," said Cutler. "Having such a massively experienced caddie on the bag is really exciting. It's also great to get these opportunities to play straight away on Tour. I couldn't ask for a better start. I really have a great team behind me at Horizon. Already they've made me feel comfortable about going out on Tour."

Cutler turned professional after Sunday's Walker Cup climax -- but Horizon managing director Conor Ridge has been laying the groundwork for weeks on a deal which he hoped would persuade the Ulster hotshot to join Portrush friend and mentor Graeme McDowell and close pal Shane Lowry in the Horizon stable.

Ridge has even paved the way for an interim grant for Cutler from the Team Ireland Golf Trust pending full funding in 2012.

Cutler's bid for his European Tour card will formally begin in PQ-1 at Frilford Heath from October 4-7. Yet he'd pick up his playing credentials if he somehow emulates the sensational feat of Rory McIlroy in 2007 and earns €212,000 prize-money from his upcoming Tour appearances.

Meanwhile, as a mark of respect to the late Seve Ballesteros, Great Britain and Ireland captain Paul McGinley ceded the 'honour' due to the 'away' team and agreed Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez should strike the opening shot of the Vivendi 'Seve' Trophy at St Nom Le Breteche in Paris today. Jimenez is a veteran of Continental Europe's victory at the inaugural staging of this event in 2000.

VIVENDI SEVE TROPHY -- Match 1: (10.35am, Irish time) M A Jimenez (Esp) & P Larrazabal (Esp) v S Dyson (Eng) & J Donaldson (Wal). Match 2: (10.50) P Hanson (Swe) & R Jacquelin (Fra) v S Jamieson (Scot) & R Fisher (Eng). Match 3: (11.05) A Hansen (Den) & F Molinari (Ita) v M Foster (Eng) & L Westwood (Eng). Match 4: (11.20) N Colsaerts (Bel) & M Manassero (Ita) v D Clarke (NIrl) & D Horsey (Eng). Match 5: (11.35) T Bjorn (Den) & A Noren (Swe) v R Rock (Eng) & I Poulter (Eng).

Vivendi Seve Trophy,

Live, Sky Sports 1, 10.30

Irish Independent

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