Cormac Sharvin, Jonathan Caldwell and Niall Kearney are all hoping to turn around disappointing seasons over the next couple of weeks starting with the Mallorca Open as the DP World Tour approaches its climax.
It’s that time of year where those who need big finishes to secure full playing privileges for the upcoming season need to kick into gear to avoid disappointment at next week’s Portugal Masters.
The provisional cut-off point for DP World Tour card retention is 117th on the Race to Dubai with Kearney and Sharvin a world away from that mark with a fortnight to go.
Kearney – a late invite, tees it up ranked 172nd in the Race to Dubai. How ironic would it be that he returned to form at the event his lack of invite to cost him his card last year?
The Dubliner ranked inside the top-8 in stroke average on last season’s DP World Tour but was unable to keep his card due to a lack of starts. Hopeful of getting into the field in Mallorca last term, the invite wasn’t forthcoming and thus his last opportunity was gone.
Now he is back hunting and scrapping for his life. Perhaps the golfing gods will throw him a bone.
The Royal Dublin man is in the final group alongside Frenchman Robin Roussel and England’s Jack Singh Brar.
At this stage Sharvin needs something special to avoid a return to Q-School. Even just a positive two weeks would have him in good stead heading to the Final Stage to rescue what has been a torrid season.
A career-high 13th at the Czech Masters did not spark the much-needed turnaround Irish fans hoped for. Instead he followed it up with a withdrawal and four successive missed cuts.
At 235th in the Race to Dubai, miracles need to happen.
Caldwell still has an exemption through to the end of the 2023 season courtesy of his maiden DP World Tour win at last year’s Scandinavian Mixed but at 200th in the Race to Dubai he really has struggled, with a nagging shoulder injury at the start of the year setting the tone for a season which has never got out of the blocks.
Son Muntaner Golf Club makes its DP World Tour debut as the standard of field takes a drop after a star-studded five weeks.
I’ve taken time to pick out a featured player from each field to add to these previews because there hasn’t been much to cheer about from our Irish regulars.
While the field might be lacking in star quality, perhaps one of Europe’s brightest young talents can swoop in and claim his third win and secure some valuable Ryder Cup points.
Nicolai Hojgaard, who is part of Europe’s twin sensations alongside his brother Rasmus who already boasts an island win put on a late surge last season to make the DP World Tour Championship – en route to finishing 8th in the Race to Dubai – is looking to do so again and give himself some momentum heading into Ryder Cup year 2023.
“I’m feeling good, excited to play in Mallorca this week,” he said.
“Last week in Valderrama, it was a good setup and good conditions. A really good week, probably one of the favourite weeks for many players.
“The game is trending, I can see bits of the game that are on a solid path and hopefully we can build on that this week.
“My goal is to prepare for next year, trying to get some positives at the end of this year and build for a big 2023. I want to get to the final, at the moment I’m just outside, so getting there is a goal and to get to play a bit more at the end of the season.
“I’m trying to work on the right things and prepare for 2023 and that’s my biggest goal at the moment, to see my game trending going into next year.”
Brother Rasmus will be heading to Dubai next month as he currently sits 19th in the Rankings after a season that has so far seen him miss just two cuts.
He finished fifth at last week’s Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters and arrives on Mallorca feeling confident.
“I feel good,” he said. “I had a solid week, played some decent golf around a tricky course last week and managed to squeeze in a top five so it’s been a good week.
“It’s getting there, the biggest positive is my putting, I’m starting to putt very well and that’s obviously going to help my score massively when I start to hit it close with my approach play so the game is trending in a very good direction.”
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