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Bullard making waves in pro golf qualifying

ESPN staff
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Jimmy Bullard has turned his attentions to the fairways © Getty Images
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Former Fulham, Wigan and Hull midfielder Jimmy Bullard has taken the first steps on what he hopes will be a career as a touring professional golfer by reaching the final stages of PGA EuroPro qualifying.

Bullard is looking to carve out a new career, having been forced to retire last year on account of a serious knee injury.

He has always had a huge talent for golf and playing off scratch, Bullard has opted to have a crack at qualifying for what would be the golfing equivalent of League One.

Rounds of 75 and 76 at Stoke by Nayland Golf Club were enough to get Bullard into the qualifying places and he will head to Frilford Heath next week for the final stage of PGA EuroPro qualifying.

"The first round was steady for me," he told the Europro website. "I felt like I could have played better but it was difficult in the wind. On Thursday we had a lot of snow but everyone is in the same boat.

"It was a little bit into the unknown for me. I am used to playing football so for me to come up here for the first time with a pencil and card in my hand was a different pressure but I really enjoyed it. I couldn't sleep last night, I just wanted to get out there again!

"I entered PGA EuroPro Tour Q School as an amateur just in case I didn't qualify, then I could go back and play some amateur events and some medals. But do I believe I can qualify? Yes, of course I do.

"I have enjoyed it so much and it has given me a bit of direction in my life. I finished playing football in October and coming out of a sport you have played for 15 years it goes stone dead and it is quite a surreal feeling, quite a weird feeling I had going on in myself and golf has got me out of trouble a little bit."

A field of 240 will tee it up over 54 holes next week in the hope of securing a card for the 2013 season.

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