A strong showing in the Portugal Masters has helped Scotland’s Chris Doak to all but secure his European Tour card for 2014.
The Greenock man finished tied for eighth in the penultimate regular event of the season, banking €41,200 to climb to 105th on the Race To Dubai rankings.
The top 110 retain their playing privileges for next year but, with just the Perth International to come this week in Australia and the 11th ranked player James Kingston needing to finish at least 12th or better just to match Doak, the Scot appears to be in pole position to hang onto his rights.
Chris Doak has had an excellent few weeks, finishing 23rd in the Italian Open and 20th in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, and he insisted that a change in his approach has given him fresh impetus going into the business end of the season.
"I’ve put a wee bit too much pressure on myself so I’m just trying to relax" - Chris Doak
“I’m feeling relaxed,” said Doak. “It’s just total opposite from the rest of the season. I’ve put a wee bit too much pressure on myself so I’m just trying to relax and wherever the ball goes, it goes. My coach keeps saying this is the game of opposites.”
Stephen Gallacher, meanwhile, gave his Ryder Cup hopes another shot in the arm by finishing in a tie for third behind the winner, England’s David Lynn. The Dubai Desert Classic champion had rounds of 70, 67, 65 and 66 to finish two shots behind Lynn but, more significantly, moved up to 14th on the Race To Dubai and to 56th on the world rankings.
Scott Jamieson, meanwhile, had a disappointing final round. After starting the day within two shots of 54-hole leader Paul Waring, the Glasgow man dropped three shots in his final four holes saw him slip down the leaderboard to 13th, one stroke behind Chris Doak.
Chris Doak: Tartan Tour to European Tour
Chris Doak has had an incredible few years. After clocking up over 40 wins on the Tartan Tour, and twice topping the domestic standings, he switche his attention to the European Tour, for which he first qualified in 2009. He then played on the Challenge Tour from 2010 until 2012, winning his card for the main circuit this season with a little help from the Team Scottish Hydro initiative.