England bow was a royal treat – Mullen
THE HONOUR of representing his country is still sinking in for Jimmy Mullen.
As one of England's most promising amateur golfers, the Royal North Devon member is leading a hectic lifestyle.
Ten days ago he was in the South of France wearing the red and white of England at the Biarritz Cup.
This week, he is competing at the South of England Open Amateur Championships in Surrey. And from Monday, Mullen will be in Cumbria taking part in the English Amateur Championships.
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Pulling on the England colours is the biggest honour yet for a player who, still a teenager, is improving all the time.
"You get treated like a tour player, like royalty almost," said Mullen.
"You have to act differently when you're on the course.
"You know you can't act silly because you know (if you do) you're letting your country down.
"You just have a completely different mindset to when you're playing for yourself or having a knock with friends."
At the age of 18, Mullen, from East-the-Water, was the youngest player in the six-man England team for the Chiberta Grand Prix and the Biarritz Cup.
Aside from Somerset's Craig Adams, 33, the rest of the squad were all 21 or under.
"I knew all the other guys before I got out there," said Mullen.
"It was good fun. Everybody encouraged each other.
"As soon as one finished you would get out and watch how the other guys got on and caddy for them."
Mullen was happy with his performance at the Chiberta tournament where rounds of 73, 67, 66 and 71 saw him finish fifth overall among more than 100 players.
His effort helped England take second place from six international teams, including two from Spain and two from France.
"I made a triple bogey in the first round, otherwise I would have won the tournament," he said.
Holding it together under pressure is the key for any golfer but even the best can have their moments.
The sight of Tiger Woods struggling to escape a bunker at last week's Open Championship brought back memories of Biarritz.
"It was like watching myself," said Mullen. "Everybody has their days.
"I shot 70 and 73 but I missed the cut by one and I made two triple bogeys.
"There was one where I kept slashing it in the bunker and one where I hit two out of bounds on one hole. My head went for a while. I wasn't thinking."
Targeting more international honours, Mullen finds out in October about potential selection for England under-21s.
Saunton golfer Jon White tied for 30th place in the PGA Europro Tour meeting at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire.
He finished two over par with rounds of 73, 72 and 73 and after seven events is placed 76th on the order of merit.
The next Europro Tour meeting is the Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters at Rowallan Castle