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Chatham golfer Matt Haines decides to turn professional

After a highly successful amateur career, Chatham golfer Matt Haines has turned professional.

The 20-year-old Rochester & Cobham GC member has withdrawn from the England team to play France at Chantilly on Sunday and Monday and instead is now preparing to make his professional debut in next week’s Mugello Tuscany Open at Poggio dei Meici GC in Florence, Italy.

The Tuscany Open is a Challenge Tour event and is one of eight such tournaments that Haines has been invited to play in this season - a key factor in the timing of his decision to join the pro ranks.

Haines (pictured) said: "It means I get two opportunities to earn my card for next year’s full European Tour, either by earning enough money in the eight Challenge Tour events I can play in or by qualifying at Tour School at the end of the season.

"I decided at the end of last year that, if I made a good start to this season, I would turn pro sooner rather than later and things have gone well so far this year."

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