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Cockerill off on a European adventure

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TSN Senior Reporter


Aaron Cockerill racked his brain and let out a sigh. It was clear that he was stumped. The question was to name the last Canadian-born golfer to play the European Tour full time.

“I can’t think of any,” was his final answer.

Cockerill, who hails from Stony Mountain, Alta., about 10 kilometres from Winnipeg, is the latest golfer from this country to earn status on the European circuit and begins his tour of duty this week in South Africa at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

He can be forgiven if he couldn’t name another Canuck who played in Europe. It’s been a while. Austin Connelly, a duel U.S.-Canadian citizen from Texas, has been plying his trade there with some success the last three years.

But the last Canadian-born golfer to play a full schedule on the European Tour was Danny Mijovic, who did so in 1993. Before him there was Jim Rutledge, and before that, Jerry Anderson, who enjoyed their best days in the 1980s.

You have to be of a certain vintage to recognize those names and Cockerill didn’t hit his first golf ball until those guys had packed up and moved back to North America.

Now, however, he’s ready to tee it up all over the world after getting through the Tour’s qualifying school, a grinding 10-round, two-week affair.