It’s been a while – and the DP World Tour’s hi-tech registration took a bit of getting used to – but Greig Hutcheon plans to make the most of his late bonanza of tour starts.
The 49-year-old, now based in Torphins, won the PGA Playoffs event – in a play-off of course – last week in Ireland.
That victory means the multiple Scottish PGA champion will get seven starts on the DP World Tour this year. His first is the Betfred British Masters this week at the Belfry.
‘A week bit of a shock to the system’
🏌️♂️🏌️♂️🏌️♂️ Three rounds of golf
⛳⛳ Two play-off holes
🏆 One Champion
Congratulations to Greig Hutcheon, the PGA Play-Off Champion 👏 pic.twitter.com/E5IarZtvsq
— The PGA (@ThePGA) April 28, 2022
“It was a wee bit of a shock to the system at my age,” he said. “I’ve secured a nice number of starts that I didn’t expect.
“I was planning at the end of this year to have a go at the seniors’ stuff. I’ve given myself a pretty ruthless environment to get ready for that.
“It was only last Friday that I found out that I was playing in the British Masters. It’s a great opportunity.”
Hutcheon showed up at the Belfry and met old friend David Drysdale, with whom he practiced on Tuesday.
“I played at The Belfry years ago, though I think it was a missed cut, unfortunately,” he said. “I think the course is much the same – I don’t think it has changed too much.
“Thankfully with Double D I could sort out a practice round. They have an online portal these days for booking – stuff like that is very confusing for people of my age!”
A tour start in four different decades
Good morning! 👋
— British Masters (@british_masters) May 3, 2022
Hutcheon only had a couple of seasons full-time on the main tour earlier in his career, but his prolific record in PGA and club pro events has led to 105 starts over the years.
“Someone mentioned to me the other day that when I tee off on Thursday, I will have played on the DP World Tour in four different decades, which is quite cool,” he said. “I’ve never been a stalwart out here, but I’ve played well over 100 events.
“Years and years ago, I had a bad shoulder injury that kept me away for a while, but to have played the tour in four decades is pretty good, I’d say.
“It’s fantastic to be playing in some lovely events this year and I can drive to most of them, which is great.”
Hutcheon has the aches and pains of most golfers his age, but he still loves the game and is enjoying his role in it.
“I do a lot of stretching and, with having a lot of injuries over the years, I’ve had to learn about rehabilitation,” he said. “That’s maybe why I’ve been able to enjoy some longevity.
“I’ve also had periods where I had to step away from the game because of an injury. My clubhead speed has gone down a little bit, which means I probably need to be a bit straighter these days.
“But I think in my last 12 starts I’ve made nine cuts so if I can keep that ratio going I’d be quite happy or maybe. I’d be chuffed with that.”
Hutch’s other starts are the BMW PGA Championship, the Irish Open, Cazoo Open in Wales, ISPS Handa World Invitational, Cazoo Classic and the Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews. He’s no stranger to Wentworth, having played there many times and making the cut in 2016.
‘It’s a super little gig’
Follow the leaderboard 👉https://t.co/FIPV52hVIt
— The PGA (@ThePGA) April 26, 2022
But Hutch has always been happier away from the tour grind, and certainly now at his base at Torphins.
“It’s a nine-hole village course, very scenic and I do a little bit of teaching there,” he said. “The beauty of it for me is that there isn’t a professional’s shop there and that allows me to concentrate on playing. I’ve been there for three or four years now and it’s a super little gig.
“The reaction to winning the Play-Offs has been great. I’ve had a number of phone calls and messages. It was my son’s 12th birthday at the weekend, so I didn’t really have time to get back to people.
“I had been practising pretty hard over the winter, so I felt I had a bit of a chance in The PGA Play-Offs. I didn’t play my best of golf, but I managed my game well and I also scrambled quite well.
“They had us right off the back tees at PGA National in Ireland and the greens were fast. The greens were quite spinny as well, so you had to manage your game well.”