Time may not be on Nick Cullen’s side but the Australian is desperate to prove he has what it takes amid a fierce and fresh-faced field at the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final in Oman.
Not only is a cheque for €70,000 on the line this week but a precious European Tour card for next year – a gateway to the money and glamour alongside star golfers such as Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose.
The top 15 in the Road to Oman rankings will be able to cash in though, in Cullen’s case, only a top-two finish will be enough for him to leap into the sought-after spots.
It’s still a long shot – the 33-year-old shares a five under-par lead after the first round at Al Mouj Golf with Poland’s Adrian Meronk, Argentina’s Estanislao Goya and Oscar Lengden of Sweden – and he admits experience only goes so far.
“Although I dropped one at the last it was a really good round in what is a really important week for me,” said Cullen, who has twice qualified for The Open Championship.
“Although I have played in Majors I don’t think that any of that will help you this week. The pressure is huge and there are a lot of really good players – lots of young guys coming through – so it is really tough out there and I am just trying to play as well as I can.
“I have been really consistent this year, something that I have been throughout most of my career, but I have gone three seasons without a win. I am desperate to return to the winners’ circle and this week would be the perfect time to do it.”
As things stand…
Lengden, Goya and Cullen would move into the top 15 at the expense of Dantorp, Heisele and Sciot-Siegrist pic.twitter.com/0cYgphMhJ4
— Challenge Tour (@Challenge_Tour) November 1, 2017
Englishman Aaron Rai, who qualified for the European Tour earlier this year, came close to adding his name to the leading quartet but bogeyed a troublesome 18th.
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