Bradley Neil is determined to prevent all his good work this season on the Challenge Tour going unrewarded in this week’s season-ending NBO Golf Classic Grand Final in Oman.
The 21-year-old from Blairgowrie has been in a card-winning position since chalking up back-to-back runner-up finishes in the summer but slipped to 16th following last week’s event in Ras Al Khaimah.
Neil needs to climb back into the top 15 come Saturday evening to secure a step up to the European Tour and he’s certainly up for the challenge on the Greg Norman-designed Al Mouj Golf in Muscat.
“It’s quite tough because you know what’s at stake,” said the 2014 Amateur champion, who is joined in the 45-man field by 30th-ranked Grant Forrest. “For a while I was in the top 10 and then I kind of dropped outside that in the last few weeks.
“I’m 16th right now and that would be a horrible position to stay in at the end of the week, but coming into the final event it’s not a bad place to be – you know what you need to do, you know a good finish will do the job.”
Neil added: “I’ve had some really good tournaments this year and I’ve gone close a few times, so obviously this would be a fantastic place to get my first win of the year.
“It’s been a fantastic season, especially compared to where I was last year. This time last year I was going to Qualifying School Second Stage, my game hadn’t been there, my confidence wasn’t good.
“Now I’m in this position, with a chance of a European Tour card, so regardless of what happens this week, it’s been a really positive year for my career, myself, my game, and wherever I end up playing next year, I’ve got a really good chance to do well.”
Elsewhere, Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew joins the defending champion, Edinburgh-based American Beth Allen, in the LET’s Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, which also starts today at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in Abu Dhabi.