Andrew McArthur is relishing the opportunity to return to the Kazakhstan Open this week and banish the memories of a double-bogey at the final hole last year, which ruled him out of the title race.
The Scot’s fourth place finish was the best of his 2012 campaign but came with a tinge of disappointment as he missed out on a play-off, which his compatriot Scott Henry went on to win, by two shots after a double at the 18th at Zhailjau Golf Resort.
Maybe it is a bonus, then, that this year the lucrative event returns to Nurtau Golf Club, which played host from 2005 to 2008 and again in 2011, and one McArthur knows well.
“It’s a really strong course and they usually set it up to reward guys that can get in position off the tee,” said the one-time Challenge Tour winner. “The greens can be very tricky and I sometimes struggle to read them, but every time I've been there it’s been in great shape.
“I struggled most of the year last year to be honest, so when I was in a good position going into the final round in Kazakhstan I just wanted to go out and make a good score to boost my Rankings position.
“Before I knew it I was eight under through 16, which had put me on 19 under and the guys in the groups behind were at 20 and 21 under. I made a schoolboy error down the last though. I took on a ridiculous shot, went straight at the pin and the water was in front.
I'm not a million miles away from where I want to be, but I need a big finish to the season.
“It landed about five yards short of the green and dropped back into the water and I didn’t get up and down. Then the boys made a couple of bogeys in final few holes and I'm thinking ‘What have I done’, but it was easily the best round I played all year.
“It’s amazing how complicated you make this game. I just want to keep it steady there this year. The scoring is usually around 12, 14, or 16 under par, but it’s doable and everybody who is playing is capable of doing it. Hopefully I’ll have my A game.”
McArthur currently sits in 23rd position in the Challenge Tour Rankings, but knows that one good week can change everything.
“I'm not a million miles away from where I want to be, but I need a big finish to the season,” he said. “I probably need two big finishes in the remainder of the season, but it’s easier said than done.
“Having said that, I don’t think I can drop out of the top 45 for the Grand Final from the position I am in, so there’s no stress. I just have to try to get in there to the top 15 so it’s all positive thoughts as opposed to thinking that I don’t want to drop out and miss the Grand Final. I may as well go for it and see what happens.”
Young Dutchman Daan Huizing, meanwhile, is hoping to continue his incredible run of form on the Challenge Tour, which has drawn comparisons to that of 2006 graduate Martin Kaymer.
Like Frenchman François Calmels and Andrea Pavan of Italy, who have also won twice this season, Huizing is chasing a third victory to secure automatic promotion to The European Tour.