England’s Richard Mansell has wrapped up the best season of his career on the DP World Tour. In only his second full season, he finished an impressive 44th on the Race to Dubai which was crowned by world number one Rory McIlroy. But now the 27 year-old is able to reflect with some time off in Dubai before his 2023 season gets underway.
‘The weather has been amazing, I don’t think I’ve taken my shorts off once since I’ve been here and like I say it’s been a great place to work on my game and we play a few of our big events on tour out here. I’ve been to play Yas Links in Abu Dhabi, I’ve played the Majilis at Emirates Golf Club before and I’m going back there in a couple of weeks’, said Mansell.
‘Obviously I’m new out on tour and I haven’t seen those golf courses in tournament mode before, so I’m just trying to prepare and trying to get myself off to the best start for next season. But obviously the courses that you’ve got here, which are all within 45 minutes of each other, are all championship golf courses and are all set-ups as well so I am really looking forward to next season.’
After deciding to turn professional in 2019, Mansell was then able to get a handful of invites on the Challenge Tour for that season and after only 7 tournaments he had secured a full playing card for the following season. An opportunity he grabbed with both hands.
‘2020 was my first proper year on the Challenge Tour, then covid happened and I didn’t know what could happen and what was going to happen. I ended up getting one of the five cards that was on offer and then in 2021 played on tour but played on limited starts and I played quite well but didn’t play well enough to keep my card because I wasn’t getting in the big events.
‘Then there was a really big decision to be made at the beginning of this season (2022) and I was very close to just committing to the Challenge Tour because I wasn’t sure what events I was going to get in. But I decided to back myself after the lessons that I’d learnt last year and it ended up being a great decision. I did have a few chances to win and looking back now it was the right decision to back myself and I was really proud to make it to the DP World Tour Championship, my first Rolex Series event ever after not having my card at the start of the year. So next year is my first year since turning pro that I can properly plan my schedule and sit down with my team and try to peak for some weeks that really suit me so I’m really excited.’
Being able to spend his off-season in the UAE, Mansell is grateful for the opportunity he has to keep his game sharp and give himself the best preparation for the DP World Tour season where he will be playing against the likes of McIlroy, Rahm, Lowry and Fitzpatrick to name just a few.
‘I can really put the work in now and I know I can get off to a really good start and I know what I can achieve in this game. I know I have obviously got to still go and achieve but if I put the work in then there’s no reason why I can’t get off to a really good start. I love being out in the Middle East, the weather is amazing, everything is there for you if you want to put the work in and succeed, so yeah, I’m excited.
‘One of my goals this season is to make the Ryder Cup team, I really feel that I am good enough to get on that team. I know that I have got to perform to make that team. I’ve spoken to Luke a few times and I know it’s a big goal and a big ask, but there are going to be some rookies on that team, and I know that I am good enough to be on it so that’s one of them.
‘Also top 100 in the world and I want to get one of the ten PGA tour cards, my game is very much suited to America, played college golf out there and did really well and I want to play on both tours, I want to play a global schedule and I want to be playing with the best players in the world. I’m not there yet but I really think I can get there so now they have introduced those cards that’s definitely right up there at the top of the list really.’
While the current situation of global golf is in a turbulent time, Mansell is fully committed to keeping his head down and focusing on the job in hand.
‘I think it’s sad. I see why some people have chosen the decision to change where they play, I don’t see why others have. I don’t really like to get involved in it myself, but I really think there is to be events and majors where the best players in the world are playing in them, and the best players are winning them.
‘I would just like to see a little bit more togetherness where there’s not the bitterness, there’s not all the stuff on social media just because it does get a little bit tiring and like you say we’ve got a job to do and it’s easy to get distracted because when you walk into player’s lounges it’s all people are talking about so it’s an interesting time and I’m sure over time it will get better.’