James Allan has become the highest annual earner in PGA EuroPro Tour history, having triumphed in The Matchroom Tour Championship.
He is joined by Michael Stewart, Dermot McElroy, Jack Davidson and Josh Hilleard in progressing to the Challenge Tour.
When James Allan recorded his second win of the campaign at Mannings Heath Golf & Wine Estate in August, his presence on next season’s Challenge Tour was confirmed.
The 28-year-old was the runaway leader throughout the year, and his ever-reliable golf game stood up to so many questions.
Moments after his second triumph, Allan was quick to admit that the goal was to finish the season in style and close out the summer as the PGA EuroPro Tour’s number one player.
Fast-forward 77 days, or exactly 11 weeks, and that ambition would transition into reality as Allan lifted The Matchroom Tour Championship trophy alongside the coveted Order of Merit award.
“It feels absolutely amazing. It really is an honour to win the PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit and see some amazing names on that trophy.
“To be the highest earner in the tour’s history is a little bonus, but I am over the moon to have capped it off because I really wanted it this week.”
The PGA EuroPro Tour has developed renowned talents such as Tommy Fleetwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Tyrrell Hatton, Aaron Rai and Marcus Armitage to name just a few.
Allan is destined to follow their pathway towards the highest standard of golf and experience what looks certain to be a glittering career as a touring professional.
Across the 16 events, amidst four months of gruelling travelling and living out of rental bases, Allan has been a shining star – elevating himself above the rest.
To say the standard on the PGA EuroPro Tour is high would be an unjust understatement; there are a multitude of players who can compete at the successive stages.
Ultimately, what Allan did incredibly well was grab each opportunity as it presented itself – best demonstrated by his three seasonal titles.
“What I’m really proud of is the fact that each time I’ve had a chance to win, I’ve taken it.
“My game and mind stood up to those tests and I feel like I may have made it look reasonably easy at times, but I was battling a little this week with my swing.
“That’s a testament to the work I’ve put in and what I have been doing over the last year really.”
As a professional sportsperson who makes a living off individual effort, golf can be the loneliest game in the world at times.
A sequence of poor decisions can seriously hamper tournament performances, which is why Allan is so grateful for the team he has carefully and methodically selected to be around him.
“You’re out there on your own and it can be brutal. My good mate Tom was meant to be here but couldn’t make it last minute.
“I had Gabs [Allan’s long-term girlfriend and most ardent supporter] and a few friends out there; to be able to see their faces, you just know you’re not alone.
“The big thing is, it’s more than just me. So many people have put so much time and effort into helping me arrive at where I am now.
“A big part of that is feeling like it’s not just me out there, you know? It’s team effort.”
When we watch golfers in their natural climate, we fail to see the work that goes on behind the scenes and just how many people contribute to the individual’s success.
However, as they progress past the levels of professional golf, the competition becomes stiffer – which means the team’s efforts will need to grow in prominence too.
For the Allan team the labour starts now, as there is one more goal that needs to be attained before the season fully closes.
“I can’t wait to be on the Challenge Tour, but there’s Q-School yet and I’m certainly looking at the DP World Tour.
The highly impressive golfer expertly negotiated the first stage of Q-School and is now preparing for the second stage, plus whatever opportunities follow from there.
“There are so many good players on the Challenge Tour; if I can skip that phase, then I’m absolutely interested in that.
“It was nice to come to Lough Erne – not stress-free, because I still wanted to perform and I have my own goals – but in terms of the Challenge Tour next year, I knew I was secure, and it allowed me to free up and play.
“This is the first time I’ve gone to Q-School with that same kind of feeling – I’m over the moon to have this card in my back pocket.”
After 15 events, three victories, a runner-up finish, one Top 3, six Top 10s and 11 Top 25s, there could be a celebration or two for Allan and his team after this unprecedented campaign.
“We’ll have a few beers, definitely,” he said with a grin.
“I’ll meet up with friends and I might have a few plans next week, so we’ll see how it goes.”
The 2022 season has been a highly successful one, and what a way to close out an expansive history of opportunity presented by the PGA and Matchroom.
We would like to thank every player, sponsor, and employee, but above all, you.
Thank you for supporting this tour and investing your time and interest into the next generation of professional golfers; we have enjoyed every second of the last 20 years of history.
Well done to all of our EuroPro Tour players, and congratulations to Allan, Michael Stewart, Dermot McElroy, Jack Davidson and Josh Hilleard on securing Challenge Tour cards – you have very bright futures ahead of you.