STOCKSFIELD golfer Chris Paisley rounded off a successful 2018 with an 18th place finish at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at leopard Creek in South Africa. 

In a year which has seen him celebrate his first ever European tour title, a world ranking high of 78 and the birth of his first child, Paisley is set for an even bigger 2019. 

The Mickley-born golfer started off in some style by winning the South African Open on January 14, to claim his first ever European tour title. 

He followed up his impressive form with two consecutive top five finishes at tournaments in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Keen to find a solution to his technique earlier in the year, Paisley consulted his swing coach Andrew Nicholson, and his brother Andy Paisley, the professional at Hexham Golf Club, who oversees his sibling’s putting.

Currently ranked 141st in the world, Paisley reached a career-high ranking of 78th after a ninth placed finish at the WGC Mexico Championship. 

This fine form catapulted him onto the world stage and saw him partner 2018 Ryder Cup winner Tommy Fleetwood in New Orleans in April. 

October saw the former Stocksfield golf club junior withdraw from the British Masters event at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, to ensure he did not miss the birth of his daughter, Rose. 

Wife Keri, who is from Johnson City, Tennessee, famously caddied for her husband during his emphatic win in Johannesburg, South Africa, because his regular caddy was unavailable.

The couple live in America, which is an ideal base for Chris who plays on the United States PGA Tour, as well as the European Tour.

In an interview with the Northern Golfer, Chris said: “It has been another year filled with priceless lessons. I learned that I can play some top-class golf.

“Going into the 2019 season, I am raring to go. I have already been in contact with my team discussing what went well, what didn’t, and what we need to do to make 2019 even better.”