A GOLFER from Ellesmere Port has secured a place on the 2019 Challenge Tour against all the odds.

Marcus Mohr, 28, has risen to the top despite having to hold down a number of jobs to fund his sporting dreams.

With nowhere to train and golf clubs unwilling to offer reduced membership, he resorted to using an old training mat and net to practice his swing in a local gym.

He has just finished 2018 in fifth place in the Order of Merit (OOM), giving him full playing rights for next year’s Challenge Tour - the second-tier men's professional golf tour in Europe.

Now Marcus is appealing for anyone who can sponsor him or help pay the £25,000 costs associated with playing at that level.

He told The Standard: “I am trying to get my story out there as I'm just a lad from The Port who'd like to do well but need help gaining sponsorship.

“My goal is to keep progressing and gain playing rights on the European Tour but I can’t do this without financial help.”

Marcus said he began playing golf at the age of 15 and quickly realised he wanted to be a professional - but there were challenges.

He said: “Playing golf for your county and up and down the country at national events there is no remuneration and not having England Golf Union there to help subsidise my costs I was forced to seek work.

“I took on numerous jobs in shops and nightclubs in order to have the money to go and play. I turned professional in 2015 and my first year I played on The Europro Tour. So that I could afford to play during this time I took on various jobs in the winter months.”

At the end of 2016 Marcus decided to go to Qualifying School for The Alps Tour. This was held in Spain and there were two stages for 25 full tour cards. He gained his 2017 playing rights by coming in the top 25.

Marcus continued: “At the start of 2017 in an effort to save money I approached my golf club and asked if they could reduce my membership fees at all. Having explained my situation in writing to them they were not able to assist me at all. I made the decision not to renew my membership in order that I could spend that money on my first tournaments on the Alps.

“Now came the problem of where to practice and work on my game. With the ambition to be a pro golfer and not having any where to practice on a regular basis, as you can imagine I was having sleepless nights.”

Luckily, the owner of the gym he attends, Pete Howell of Prime Health and Fitness, came to the rescue and offered the use of the building any time.

Marcus was given a net and balls by Net World Sports in Wrexham and was allowed to dig up an old training mat at Buckley Golf Course.

“After cleaning off the mud, moss and mildew I was able to set the net and mat up in the gym at Prime Health and Fitness,” Marcus said.

“I thought I'd hit the lottery! I'd got an indoor facility where I can practice my golf swing and work out whenever I needed. I soon realised however that my fellow competitors were in a much better situation as when I checked social media I realised they were practicing on golf courses across Europe in the sun and they were able to do this as a result of having finical backing.”

But rather than discourage him, Marcus said this made him work even harder.

“My 2017 season was a massive learning curve and I managed to finish 37th in the Order of Merit which gave me full playing rights for 2018.

“2018 really kicked off for me in the third event of The Alps Tour when I finished second in Portugal and then seventh in Austria. The highlight of the year was when I won The Alps event on The Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe when I won by three shots. This put me at the top of the OOM for the first time and I remained in that position for several weeks.

“I ended the season in fifth place on the OOM which means I have gained full playing rights for the 2019 Challenge Tour.”

Marcus added: “Apart from my family I have had no financial help in order to play on this tour. I have still taken on employment where I can fit it around my golf. I have had lots of moral support but no one has been in a position to help me financially.

“Having spoken to several players already on The Tour the costs will be in the region of £25,000.”

* Anyone who can help Marcus is asked to contact him on 07508 791946 or mmohr02@gmail.com