DESPITE making nearly half as many appearances as his peers on the European Challenge Tour, Oliver Farr is relishing the opportunity to play this week at the KPMG Trophy, which starts today (Thursday).
The Welshman, who only has seven starts counting towards his goal of returning to the European Tour, has not been able to play as much as he hoped after a combination of joyful and difficult times away from the golf course.
“We’ve had a few issues at home,” said Farr, who sits 34th in the rankings going into this week’s tournament in Belgium.
“One was a really good issue in that we had our second child at the start of the year, so I missed a lot there.
“But we’ve also had a few losses more recently so I’ve been trying to support my wife as best I can through a tough time.
“It’s obviously limited my schedule, but I didn’t want to play in the circumstances.
“It’s a terrible time for my wife’s family and more recently my family. We lost my grandmother a couple weeks ago as well, so it’s been a really tough time in both sets of families.
“It’s not nice but it probably puts my golf into perspective. It’s not as important as it was a few years ago, especially with two children now.
“It’s important in the sense that I need it to earn money and pay the mortgage and stuff like that, but they’re more important to me than golf.”
Although it has been a rollercoaster off the course, the 31-year-old’s play on the golf course has been anything but.
He posted top five finishes at the Swiss Challenge and Italian Challenge Open Eneos Motor Oil, and comes into the KPMG Trophy on the back of consecutive top 15 showings in his two most recent starts – having not missed a cut all season.
Farr plans to play several more events this season but will still have to miss some more. He will, however, have the benefit of experience on his side, after graduating from the Challenge Tour in 2014 and again in 2017.
“I’ve actually played really nicely this year,” Farr said. “I’ve not played a whole lot, but when I’ve played, I’ve played nicely and I don’t feel like I’ve had my best weeks yet so far this year, which is sort of a good feeling to have in a sense.
“I feel comfortable out here having qualified for the European Tour a couple of times before, so the belief is there. I’ve got seven events left this season to do that, and hopefully my best golf is still to come.”
Another invaluable asset which Farr has on his side, is the guidance of his father Graham, who himself has made starts on the European Tour, and just last month teed it up in The Senior Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
“I call him my coach but he’s more of a mentor,” the two-time Challenge Tour winner said.
“He likes me to figure out things for myself. If something’s going wrong, he’ll ask me what I think first, rather than telling me.
“It’s more just trying to get me to understand my game a little bit better, and I’m understanding my swing and my feelings a bit better than I used to.”
Regardless of how Farr’s week transpires, and in spite of the difficult time his family has been through, he is committed to maintaining perspective and a good attitude.
“Having two boys is good fun, they’re actually coming to Portugal in two weeks so that should be a great week,” added the Welsh pro, who is attached to Hereford’s Burghill Valley Golf Club.
“There’s a lot of good, positive stuff in my life as well as some negative stuff this year, but the positive is what we’ll draw on at the minute.”
Farr begins his pursuit of the KPMG Trophy when he tees off at Millennium Golf’s 10th hole at 1.15pm local time, with the action beginning at 7.25am local time.
For live scoring click here