ARDMORE, Pa. – At the end of this week’s Walker Cup, mid-am Nathan Smith will return to work, a handful of players will return to college and some officially will end their amateur days and turn pro. Of those doing the latter, I don’t know that anyone has the same itinerary as GB&I’s Sam Hutsby facing him Sunday night.
He’s headed to Kazakhstan to play next week. Sounds like a new Borat movie.
Actually, England’s Hutsby, No. 5 in the world in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Amateur Rankings, will make his pro debut at the European Challenge Tour’s Kazakhstan Open at the Zhailjau Golf Resort in Almaty. (Let me know if you’ve been there.) For you geography buffs, Kazakhstan is in Eastern Europe, and is bordered by, among others, Russia and China. It also touches the Caspian Sea.
The Kazakhstan Open purse is one of the bigger ones on the Challenge Tour – 400,000 euros, which is more than double what they’re playing for this week in the Netherlands.
As the Kazakhs are always known to say, that’s a heck of a lot of tenge (cash).
OK, so maybe I made that last part up.