Playing in Muscat this week may be new territory for the likes of Paul Lawrie, Stephen Gallacher and Richie Ramsay but not another of the Scots in the field for the NBO Oman Open.
It was just over three months ago that Bradley Neil showed nerves of steel to convert a three-foot par putt on the last hole of his 2017 season at Al Mouj Golf, the venue this week, to secure his European Tour card.
The Blairgowrie man was three spots outside the all-important top 15 on the Challenge Tour money-list heading into the last round of the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final.
But, thanks to a superb closing three-under 69 for an eight-under 280 total, Neil’s excellent effort over the course of the year got the reward it deserved.
In ending up joint-ninth in Muscat, he finished the season in 15th position in the Road to Oman, pipping German Sebastian Hiesele for the final main Tour card up for grabs by around £2600.
Now Neil is among eight Scots in the line up for the first European Tour event to be staged in the Sultanate and the 22-year-old is relishing being back so quickly.
“I was really excited to be coming back here,” he admitted. “The memories came flooding back, hugging my dad after found out I’d done enough to get my card etc.
“It’s been a completely different feeling in terms of pressure playing the course so far this week, but I feel really comfortable on the course as I know it a lot better than the other events I’ve played so far, which will help.”
The former Amateur champion has made the cut in two out of his five events so far as a European Tour player but feels his game is close to clicking.
“I’m constantly making strides in terms of performance, so I’ve just got to stay patient, keep working hard and it will all happen hopefully,” he added.
In addition to Lawrie, Gallacher and Ramsay, Neil is joined in the field by David Drysdale, Marc Warren, Connor Syme and Steven Troup, who hails from Portlethen and is now a teaching pro at this week’s host club.