CALLUM TARREN is certainly putting the miles in as he looks to make the grade in professional golf – and achieving his main goal appears to be closer than ever.

Darlington’s promising pro has travelled more than 5,000 miles this week to play in the Scottish Hydro Challenge in Aviemore on the Challenge Tour.

He knows that succeeding in such an event could have a huge bearing in the direction his career takes, so was more than happy to accept the place even though he was competing in the Far East over the weekend.

Tarren narrowly missed out on becoming the first Englishman to win a PGA Tour Series-China event when he lost a three-way play-off at the Kunming Championship, the sixth event on this year’s schedule.

He was left frustrated after an impressive week’s play when Hong Kong’s Motin Yeung sank a ten-foot birdie putt at the first extra hole to deny Tarren his moment of glory and American Joseph Gunerman.

And this was just a couple of weeks after the Rockliffe Hall attached pro came within a whisker of appearing at last weekend’s US Open at Shinnecock Hills when he was just a shot off the qualification mark at Walton Heath.

Tarren said: “Things are going pretty well. I just feel it’s really close for me taking it to the next level and winning multiple times. Blowing fields away and getting up to that next level, the

“My game is in a very good position and I’m looking to seeing what the rest of the season brings. My performance in China will push me up the Order of Merit and stand me in good stead for the rest of the season.

“My main focus is trying to get a card. Second focus is to play the few Challenge Tour events I am lucky enough to obtain and perform as well as I can out there also – it would be nice to do well at the Scottish Hydro Challenge this week too.”

Regardless of what happens in Aviemore, the 27-year-old is then planning a couple of weeks break, working on his game at Rockliffe when he spends some time back home in County Durham.

It will then be back to China where he will be looking to build on his positive start to the year, and he knows how close it was to being more special in Kunming.

Tarren said: “I actually wasn’t that disappointed not to win. I’ve played a lot of golf over the last weeks with very little time off, so it was a good performance really. I just missed out on the US Open by a shot two weeks ago at Walton Heath, which shows what I have been doing.

“I got myself into a very good position after 36 holes in China and even then after 45 holes I was -15.

“A very average/tired back nine in round three saw me drop back to 13. But I still knew I had a chance.

“After nine holes in the final round I was only one under for the day and both my playing partners were five under and three under so I felt like I had a lot of work to do on the back nine.

“In all honesty I felt very flat and tired.

“But I managed to dig deep on the back nine and return in 30 strokes to get into the play-off which showed great character and determination.”

Even if he did feel tired, he didn’t really show it over the course of the week and that is the mindset he will be heading to Scotland with.

But he will never forget his performance in Kunming, particularly in the first round, where he felt like he was going to shoot under 60 after a stunning round. Tarren ended up with a 63 after day one when he held a two shot lead over Gunerman.

It could easily have been even better. Tarren said: “Starting the first round with eight birdies in the first ten holes. The 59 watch was legitimately on. I ended up shooting eight under, 63.

“I managed to get it to nine under through 14. But made a bogey coming home.

“After that I still played quite well, even though I felt tired.

“But I am more than happy with how things have been going, I’m just focused on doing what I can to make it continue.”