Amateur golfer Blair Bursey of Gander is looking to turn pro and earn the big bucks on the sport's biggest stages.
Bursey, 21, recently finished his four-year Division I NCAA career at Utah Valley University, but he's looking to get more yardage out of his career.
"I'm just getting started transitioning into pro golf now," Bursey told CBC while standing on a putting green at Bally Haly Golf Club in St. John's.
While he hails from Gander, Bursey is in St. John's to hit it off with some potential sponsors and investors. Playing professional golf, in the early stages, is fairly expensive and most rookie pro golfers start their careers with some financial banking.
"I'm in that process of trying to get that sorted out now, and essentially if you play well enough you can get money behind you," he said.
"Once you get to the top level it can get pretty lucrative, so I'm going to try to do my best to become self sufficient as quickly as possible, but starting out a little bit of help is kind of what's needed. That's the reality of it."
Entry fees up front to even play in pro events can add up, and how well you play determines how well you get paid.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge of it," said Bursey. "The hardest part is getting there, truly."
Fundraiser at home
Bursey is throwing a golf tournament fundraiser in Gander on Aug. 25 to kick off the drive to get his finances in the bag. The event will also include a silent auction and a golf clinic.
"Besides that I'm also doing some personal investing as well," he said.
"Whoever wants to be a part of my journey, they're welcome to," and anyone who may be interested can check out the details on his website.
Bursey enjoys the comfort of being home, so it was a no-brainer for him to begin his journey into the professional world where it all started years before.
"I like going home, my girlfriend is out home, I like seeing my friends and seeing the people I grew up playing with," he said.
"I need to be away in order to progress my game, but I cherish my time at home. I really do."
From a young age, Bursey put in a lot of hours to iron out his game. He says his childhood, most of it spent on golf courses, was different from most others'.
"But I was happy to do that. It was something I loved. Always have loved it," he said. "Since the age of eight or 10 I've kind of been full-tilt into golf."
When Bursey hit 12 years old he says he had a turning point where he realized the sport was something he wanted to pursue.
"I was lucky enough to be able to get an opportunity, with some really hard work, I was able to do something with it," he said.
Bursey is the first Newfoundlander to have played Divison I golf in the United States and plans to start playing golf at the professional level in the coming months.
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