Ashley Chesters: Shropshire's smiling golfer turns professional

Paul Woodhead and Ashley Chesters
Caddie Paul Woodhead was on Ashley Chesters' bag for the Walker Cup weekend

Shropshire's Ashley Chesters has become the second member of the 2015 winning Walker Cup team to join the professional ranks.

The 26-year-old from Hawkstone Park has signed up with American-based Wasserman Media Group, who look after fellow Midlander Andy Sullivan, as well as PGA tour stars Jason Day and Rickie Fowler.

Chesters follows the lead of Ireland's Gavin Moynihan, who went pro on Monday.

His first target is to go to European Tour School in a bid to win his card.

Walker Cup captain Nigel Edwards and English pair Jimmy Mullen (centre) and Ashley Chesters were the main architects of victory at Lytham
Walker Cup captain Nigel Edwards (left) and English pair Jimmy Mullen (centre) and Ashley Chesters, who were foursomes partners on both days, were the main architects of victory at Royal Lytham

But he is hopeful of earning a sponsor's invitation to play in the Dunhill Links Championship on 10 October, which would involve a return to St Andrews, scene of his finest hour to date when he tied 12th at the Open Championship in July.

After an excellent weekend's work in the Walker Cup, where he was unbeaten, collecting three and a half points, one man who has no doubts about his temperament was his caddie at Royal Lytham, Paul Woodhead.

The entire team were under orders to use local caddies for the week, to help read the tricky links course better. But Chesters was unfazed about not having regular caddie, fellow Shropshire lad Ricky Pharo on his bag.

"It's the easiest thing in the world to form a relationship with him," the vastly experienced Lancashire-based caddie told BBC Sport. "He's beautiful to play with and he's good fun. He puts the fun back into golf.

Ashley Chesters following in fine footsteps
Wasserman's growing string of golfers include two of the world's current top five, Australian Jason Day (third), who won last month's US PGA, and Rickie Fowler (fifth). In addition, Bernd Wiesberger, Lee Slattery and Andy Sullivan (twice) have been winners in Europe this year. Chesters joins ex-England amateur team-mates Ryan Evans and Ben Stow in the Wasserman stable.

"I caddie around here for some serious people who take it too seriously. He smiles when he plays and that's the way to play the game.

"I'd never met him so I read up on him before we came out. I realised he was pretty good. I thought I've got a good man this week and I was right."

Chesters, who learned his game on the same course where 1985 Open champion Sandy Lyle grew up, added: "Representing Great Britain & Ireland in the Walker Cup was always a huge goal of mine and to sign off on my amateur career in the way I did was extremely pleasing.

"I'm really excited to be joining the great team at Wasserman and beginning the next chapter of my career as a professional."

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