WHILE World number one golfer Rory McIlory continues to dazzle the sport with his talents and earn millions of dollars a former Ulster team mate is at the other end of the career ladder and at the first stage of fulfilling his dream.
Lisburn’s David Leathem is preparing to take part in the NGA Tour, two divisions below the PGA Tour, but he needs some financial help to get him through a tough season in the USA.
David arrived home from South Alabama on Tuesday and will be here for six weeks. During that time he will be best man at his brother Mark’s wedding in September and also plans to get some practice in preparation for his first playing season as a professional golfer. David’s other brother Philip Leathem is a PGA professional at Lisburn Golf Club.
It was far from a smooth return, his luggage was lost on the way home. “I was to fly from Atlanta to Dublin but we ended up going via Paris and when I arrived my luggage was missing. I had to drive back down to Dublin on Wednesday to pick it up which was a big relief.”
An Ulster team mate of Rory eight years ago, David said is was clear even then the Holywood man was going to make it big. “You could see right away from his game he had something special. World number one and two majors is just incredible. I would settle for even half of that,” enthused David. “I would love to meet him on the tour at some point, that is my goal.”
The 24-year-old graduated from University of South Alabama in Mobile Alabama with a BSc in Sports Management in May this year.
David played for the Jags, a top 70 college on the collegiate golf tour, for five years. Now graduated, he’s turned professional and has started playing on the US development tours.
However, that is expensive and the young golfer, who started playing aged 12 at Blaris, is seeking some financial support to help achieve his career dream. Entrance fees cost over $1000 per event and a player needs to make the cut just to get his money back. David will also have to fund all his expenses both to and from the tournaments and his costs could hit $50,000 in a season.
A golf day is being held at Lisburn Golf Club to raise funds to help support David’s entrance fee expenses in the coming season.
The event is a shotgun start beginning at 2.30pm on September 10 at Lisburn Golf Club followed by a meal and prize giving. It’s aimed at businesses who will bring customers or invite staff and it’s hoped that 100 people will be taking part. Tee sponsorship is also available for any local business that wishes to promote their services.
There are still some four ball slots available so if you would like to be part of what will be a fun day and support David then please contact him at [email protected] or phone 07968324080 for more details.
David goes back to the US at the end of September to compete in the NGA Winter series, two divisions below the lucrative PGA Tour, and the full summer tour starting in February. If you would like to follow David’s progress then why not check his website at www.davidleathem.com or follow him on twitter.