Jamie has come a long way

JAMIE Abbott, who has already attended English Golf Union training at Bisham Abbey as a member of the A squad, is now preparing to represent England in the Portuguese Amateur Championship at Quinta de Cima between February 7 and 11.

JAMIE Abbott, who has already attended English Golf Union training at Bisham Abbey as a member of the A squad, is now preparing to represent England in the Portuguese Amateur Championship at Quinta de Cima between February 7 and 11.

The course is one of those recently developed between Faro and the Spanish border near the seaside town of Tavira where the only modern hotel is the Vila Gale. I have stayed there and can recommend it.

That early-season test on the Algarve will be followed by warm-weather training at the new Arcos Gardens complex on the Costa de la Luz when he will be rubbing shoulders with Jamie Moul and the rest of the EGU Elite squad.

Then the Fynn Valley and Suffolk star, who celebrates his 20th birthday in June, will compete in the Spanish Amateur Championship. By that time he should be primed for the home season, probably starting at Saunton with the West of England Championship. Then comes the Lytham Trophy and after that the big events follow thick and fast.

Time is on Abbott's side as he bids to make an impact on the English amateur scene. Already he has found that there is far more one-to-one coaching in the A squad than in the under-21 squad.

He has learned several other lessons. One is that he will in future travel the day before the practice rounds so that he is fresh and alert when checking out the courses.

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Abbott may not have the time to take part in the Faldo Series.

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