WILL Whiteoak is under no illusions about the size of his first challenge in the professional ranks but believes he can do well at European Tour qualifying school.

The Haworth golfer tees off at Roxburghe Golf Club on Tuesday in what he hopes will be the first step towards clinching a place among the game's elite.

After ending his amateur career with an impressive performance for England as they agonisingly missed out on the Home Internationals title to Ireland, Whiteoak is aiming to progress through three stages to earn a coveted Tour card.

In the region of 1,000 competitors enter Q School each year but only those among the top 25 scores after three stages will earn a place following up to 252 holes of play under intense pressure.

Asked if he felt he could go all the way, Whiteoak said: "I've not even thought about it, to be honest.

"It is obviously a tough ask but if I play well there is no reason why it can't happen. It's just a case of taking it one stage at a time and not getting ahead of yourself.

"I'm feeling positive about it. I'm quite happy with my game and just need to keep it sharp as I'm not playing in much before then."

If Whiteoak qualifies from Scottish venue Roxburghe, based in Kelso, he will progress to one of four venues in Spain for the second stage in November, with a final stage later that month in the same country at Tarragona-based Lumine Golf Club.

Regardless of how successful he is, the Shipley member feels it is the right time to give it a shot in the professional arena.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a glittering amateur career, first at district level before continuing to shine at county, national and international standard.

He became only the fourth player to win the Bradford Open and Bradford Amateur Championship in the same season as an 18-year-old in 2012.

Success then came further afield, such as the North of England Open Amateur Youth title in 2014 and the Tilman Trophy – once won by Ernie Els – in 2015.

He was also part of the Yorkshire team that won the English Men's County Finals last year.

Whiteoak feels he has sampled most of the opportunities in the amateur game and is ready to make the switch.

He said: "I've played for Yorkshire and played for England. I've won some big amateur events. I'm not playing in the Walker Cup and the next one is two years away.

"I'd rather get out there and try to earn some money and get some experience."

The European Challenge Tour or the Europro Tour could be other options for Whiteoak next year, depending on how successful he is at Q School.