In 2004 Martin LeMesurier was a regular on the European Tour having come second in the Challenge Tour rankings the previous season. However, three years later he had lost his passion to play and quit professional golf, seemingly for good.
That was until last summer when, unable to find work and with renewed desire, he made a return to the game at PGA EuroPro Tour Qualifying School.
Twice in 2003 LeMesurier was victorious on the Challenge Tour and nine top-ten finishes helped him earn his European Tour card for 2004. His BGC British Masters win at Lingfield Park earlier this month was his first professional title since returning to the game.
â€œI got a bit fed up with it all I suppose, like you might do with any job,â€ he said when reflecting on his decision to opt for a change in career.
â€œI didnâ€™t really know what I was doing or where I was going. I lost all of my confidence and I was just playing for the sake of playing really. I was spending money that I couldnâ€™t really afford to spend, so I decided to hang up the clubs.
â€œAt the time I didnâ€™t anticipate coming back to professional golf to be honest, but I had little chance of getting another job so I picked the clubs up again about 12 months ago.
â€œI wanted to come back, that was the main thing. Not being able to get a job pushed me to get back into it and once I had decided I was going to return to golf I did actually want it and I felt it was something I did want to do again.â€
It hasnâ€™t taken long for LeMesurier to readapt to the rigours of professional golf. Alongside his win at Lingfield Park, the Winchester man achieved three top-ten finishes from the seven EuroPro Tour events he played in 2011. Last summer also marked a return to the Challenge Tour for LeMesurier, with two appearances in the competition he once excelled in, including a tied-fifth finish at the English Challenge.
â€œIâ€™m happier now than I was in 2003 when I was doing well on the Challenge Tour,â€ he said. â€œEven sort of halfway through last year I felt like I was playing pretty well; I was a bit rusty through not having played for three years and that led to me wasting shots that normally I wouldnâ€™t, but it was a case of getting back into it and biding my time.
â€œI think Iâ€™m a better golfer now than I was in 2003. Mentally I am better because I want to do it a bit more. In 2003 I did want to do it but even then, mentally, I donâ€™t think I was anywhere near as good as I was at Lingfield, so that is a big plus.â€
Like many EuroPro Tour players, LeMesurier is aiming to finish the season in the top five on the Order of Merit, an achievement which is rewarded with a place on next summerâ€™s Challenge Tour. But despite his win at Lingfield he is refusing to get carried away and his focus is on next weekâ€™s Your Golf Travel Classic at Bovey Castle, rather than on the end of season money list.
â€œI donâ€™t have a Challenge Tour category for this year so I would need an invite if I was to play on that,â€ he explained.
â€œIâ€™ll play EuroPro this summer and a good goal for me is to finish in the top five on the Order of Merit and get a category on the Challenge Tour for next summer. But it is a long season between now and September so Iâ€™ll just wait and see what happens.
â€œIâ€™ll get a lot of practice in before Bovey Castle and hopefully play in some south region events if I can get in, maybe some Hampshire PGA competitions. Other than that it will just be getting practice in to get ready for Bovey.
â€œItâ€™s a course I have played a few times before and I have done okay there; Iâ€™ve had a couple of top tens and it is a course that I like. Itâ€™s quite similar to Lingfield so Iâ€™m definitely looking forward to it.â€