About Thomas Aiken

By Chris Joseph

Thomas Aiken is a South African golfer who plays on the European Tour as of 2009. He has shown significant improvement during his second full year on the tour, finishing in the top 10 on several occasions. Part of the improvement can be traced to his stroke average per round, which has improved from 72.03 to 70.49 within a one-year period. His putts-per-round average has decreased by two in the same time.

Early Years

Thomas Aiken was born July 16, 1983, in Johannesburg, South Africa. He began taking golf lessons at the age of nine, and by age 14 he had joined the academy at the Randpark Golf Club. An all-around athlete, he eventually chose to pursue golf over cricket and tennis. As an amateur golfer, he was South African Amateur of the Year in 2001. After turning pro, he played on the Nationwide Tour before earning his European Tour card in 2007.

2008 Season

In his first full year on the European Tour, Aiken played in 26 tournaments, with his best finish being a tie for 13th place at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, where he ended at five under par. He finished 32nd at the Omega European Masters and had two 35th-place finishes, too. Aiken ended the 2008 season in 131st place.

2009 Season

As of August 2009, Aiken had shown dramatic improvement over the previous year, climbing to 34th place in the rankings and more than tripling his earnings from the previous year. While he had yet to win a tournament, he had finished in the top 10 in seven of 14 tournaments, including a tie for fourth at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, where he finished at 15 under par. Aiken finished under par in nine of the first 10 tournaments in which he played.

Other Accomplishments

Aiken won his European PGA Tour card in 2007 by shooting 10 under par at Q-School at the San Roque Club. He has won a total of eight tournaments in his career, including six in the Republic of South Africa (RSA). In 2004, he won three Vodacom Origins of Golf Tour events in the RSA: at Zimbali, at Sun City and also the Vodacam Origins of Golf Championship.

Personal

Aiken comes from an athletic background, as his mother, father, brother and uncle all were top athletes in South Africa. His girlfriend also is a noted South African squash player. Aiken has stated that he picked golf over other sports because he enjoyed the scenery, according to Europeantour.com. In addition to sports, he lists movies as a favorite hobby.

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