With only five events to go before the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final, the pressure to perform has never been greater as the Road to Ras Al Khaimah turns red-hot.
Dimitrios Papadatos spent much of the season inside the coveted top 15 after winning the 56˚ Open de Portugal @ Morgado Golf Resort back in May, and a tied fourth place finish a month later at the Made in Denmark Challenge presented by Ejner Hessel further solidified his place in the Rankings.
Professional golf, however, is wickedly competitive and on the European Challenge Tour, the margin for error shrinks with every passing week. Following a disappointing missed cut at the Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open presented by Modest! Golf, the Aussie rebounded with a steady tied 11th place showing at the limited-field Rolex Trophy to keep him just inside the top 15.
Feeling the effects of a long season and tens of thousands of air miles, the 27 year old decided to roll the dice and take a week off from competition to refresh and recover.
The decision initially appeared to backfire as he fell out of a European Tour graduation spot when Spaniard Adri Arnaus leapfrogged him on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah with a second-place finish at the Cordon Golf Open.
Papadatos did not panic, and validated his decision to rest as a wise one when he returned to action last week at the Bridgestone Challenge, where he tied for second place — picking up €16,200 in the process and climbing back into the top 15.
Took a week off, fell outside the top 15 😬— Challenge Tour (@Challenge_Tour) September 11, 2018
Came back refreshed, finished T-2, jumped up to 12th 😏@dimipapadatos made an important move on the #RoadToRAK ahead of the #KazakhstanOpen 📈 pic.twitter.com/gZ4CWOZUNN
Now, the Road to Ras Al Khaimah Number 12 will need to carry the momentum with him as the Challenge Tour turns to one of its most lucrative events, the Kazakhstan Open presented by ERG.
Boasting a prize fund of €450,000, and 29 of the top 30 on the season-long points race in the field, this week could very well prove to be pivotal for any number of the players racing towards the top 15 on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah.