BEN Rhodes could be living proof of Gary Player's most famous quote.

The nine-times major winner said: "The more I work and practice, the luckier I seem to get," and that philosophy certainly seems to have helped the 21-year-old from Farsley.

The Woodhall Hills member had a stellar 2019, winning the Bradford Amateur Matchplay Championship, the Bradford Open Championship, the Captain's Salver (for most points for Bradford in Yorkshire Inter-District Union matches) and the Karl Curran (Telegraph & Argus) Trophy - an overall annual test in Bradford events and in competitions representing them.

Last September, Rhodes decided to turn professional, which brings to mind another of Player's better-known quotes.

The South African legend said: "A strong mind is one of the key components that separate the great from the good" - and Rhodes admits that he doesn't know how he will cope mentally with the rigours of this year's PGA EuroPro Tour.

Rhodes, who also won the Jim Wade Trophy for the best combined score in the Bradford Open and Bradford Amateur Strokeplay last year, admitted that being more dedicated to practice has improved his overall game.

He admitted at the Bradford & District Union of Golf Clubs' annual dinner at the Midland Hotel, with a degree of understatement about his achievements: "You never know. If you put your game in shape then things can happen. It has been a good year for me.

"I practised more. I dedicated myself more to it. I thought if I won as an amateur I wanted to see if I had the game to turn professional, and luckily 2019 paid off."

As far as practice goes, he admitted that he went to "two or three days a week from virtually none at all", and added: "I have been lucky that ability has got me so far but I have showed more dedication to the sport and have got better and better."

Rhodes, who also tied for ninth in the English Amateur Championship in late July-early August at Hankley Common & North Hants GC, gives credit to PGA professional Mark Pearson at Oulton Hall and Neil Wendell Jones at Rhodes' home club of Woodhall Hills for helping to improve his game.

"I went to see a new coach, Mark Pearson, at the beginning of the year at Oulton Hall about my putting, while Neil Wendell Jones worked on my swing and it just came together," revealed Rhodes.

"My swing got better and I started to hole a few more putts, which makes your score a lot better."

As for which one of his four trophies from 2019 means the most to him, he admitted: "The Jim Wade Trophy because it is not just one event, it is two events and doing well in both - winning the Bradford Open and coming runner-up in the Bradford Amateur Strokeplay means a lot."

Rhodes, who has a donations page on Facebook to help him raise funds to pay for entry fees, accommodation and travel now that he is a professional, decided to take the plunge last autumn.

He said: "I decided to turn pro as soon as I finished playing for Bradford in the Yorkshire Inter-District Team Championships at The Oaks in York in September.

"I knew then that after playing half-decent there I had proved everything that I wanted to prove and I had to give it a go."

However, Rhodes admits that he has no idea how he will cope with the mental pressure of playing as a professional.

He said: "Your guess is as good as mine as to how you prepare yourself for the Pro Tour.

"I know that I have got the game, but I don't know whether I have got it mentally.

"You are playing for your career, you are playing for money.

"If I can't deal with the pressure maybe I could go and see a psychologist and try to get things to work for me.

"I won't know the pressure until I have tried, but it if works out then great and if it doesn't it doesn't but at least I have given it a go."