Daniel Gavins’ maiden European Tour victory still sinking in

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick September 29, 2021 11:05

Yorkshire born and bred golf professional Daniel Gavins announced himself well and truly on the European Tour golf scene by claiming his maiden tour victory at the ISPS HANDA World Invitational in Northern Ireland. The 30-year-old, who is the PGA pro at Howley Hall Golf Club on the outskirts of Leeds, went into the final round seven shots behind the leader but another hugely impressive fourth round of 65 cemented him at -13, which proved too much as the rest of the field fell by the wayside as Gavins watched on from the clubhouse.

A cynic might suggest that this particular tournament was affected by the impending Tokyo Olympics and the US-based World Golf Championship, with just five in the field at Galgorm ranked inside the world’s top 200 and 22 ranked outside the world’s top 400. Nevertheless, this victory is something that Gavins has been building to for some time since turning professional in 2012.

Gavins’ game has always had potential. He entered the European Tour in 2016 and 2019 respectively and there was steady improvement in his game between those three seasons. Gavins averaged 73.08 in his maiden season in 2016, but cut his average down to 72.72 in 2019. Scoring averages are just one of many metrics now important to golfers, with the pros increasingly utilising big data to apply it to their decision-making on the tees, fairways and greens. But forget greens-in-regulation (GIR), the signs were there that Gavins could make an impact in 2021, having made ten successive cuts heading into ISPS HANDA World Invitational.

How has Gavins fared since his maiden European Tour win?

After taking home the ISPS HANDA World Invitational, scooping a first prize payout of €191,640.78, Gavins’ tail was up the following week going into the Hero Open. It was a high-scoring affair at Fairmont St Andrews, with Grant Forrest taking the win at -24. Gavins was tied for 38th at -8, but this was still good enough for a €7,432.20 pay day – more than any pay day received from his appearances on the Challenger Tour in 2021.

Gavins then failed to make the cut in his next three events at the Cazoo Classic, the Omega European Masters and the DS Automobiles Italian Open, before finishing 77th for another solid €10,922.42 pay cheque at the BMW PGA Championship. After a couple of weeks off, Gavins is slated to feature at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and the ACCIONA Open de Espana. With a European Tour card secured for next season after his Galgorm success, Gavins will no doubt be viewing the next couple of months as a free hit and a no-lose situation to try and play freely and improve his world ranking of 212th.

Does Gavins’ caddy look familiar?

Gavins’ caddy for his maiden European Tour win at Galgorm cut a familiar figure for golf fans that frequent YouTube. That’s because his caddy was none other than Liam Harrison, founder of the Golf Mates channel, described as a channel to “improve your golf game” and bring “community back into golf”. Harrison is the face of the channel, with his charismatic personality capturing the imagination of amateur golfers across the UK and North America. Harrison’s close friends “Mr. Barlow”, “Old Man Pat”, “Young Man Josh”, “eBay Pete” and many more join Harrison to play at a host of local golf clubs, as well as some of the UK’s biggest hidden gem courses.

The Golf Mates YouTube channel now boasts over 153,000 subscribers, with Harrison quitting his day job as a painter and decorator to run his channel full time. However, after caddying Gavins to victory at Galgorm, which regularly plays host to the Gala Irish Golf Awards, he was offered the opportunity of a lifetime to caddy for Gavins full time over the next 15 months. Harrison discussed the offer on his YouTube channel and opted to respectfully decline the offer, with a young family and a thriving YouTube community to attend to.

As for Gavins, it appears his game and approach are starting to mature, with 2022 set to be his most exciting season yet due to the opportunity to appear in a handful of events on the PGA scene too. Watch this space.


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick September 29, 2021 11:05
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