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Warm weather experience was key for Wrag Barn's Loughrey
ESCAPING the miserable British weather was key for Ben Loughrey as he braced himself to tackle his first two tournaments of the year in mainland Europe.
The Wrag Barn youngster begins his campaign at the Portuguese Amateur Championship today before moving onto the equivalent Spanish event at La Manga Golf Club on February 27.
In order to get the best possible preparation for those two competitive outings, Loughrey took the decision to practise at the plush La Cala Resort in Malaga for a couple of weeks.
And ahead of the first of his four rounds at Montado Golf Resort in Palmela, the Swindonian explained his reasons for jetting south early.
“The weather is awful at home and practising in those conditions isn't very productive or enjoyable,” he said.
“To give myself the best chance of performing well in the two events I came to Spain to practise in better weather.
“It was also more important for me to take myself away this year as I put the clubs away for two-and-a-half months over the winter, so I had to dust them off in plenty of time.
“I'm feeling pretty good about my game, I'm feeling fresh and looking forward to having the competitive edge back. I've worked out a few kinks and things feel good.”
Naturally, Loughrey would love to top the leaderboard come the end of the week, but his general expectations are modest at a course he has not played before.
“If I can just play sensible golf and execute my gameplan then I will be happy,” he said.
“I have never played (at Montado) and haven't heard anything about it, which I quite like as I don't have any preconceived ideas about it and can make my own assessments.”