Although he was unable to add to the one Challenge Tour title he collected at the 2008 Challenge of Ireland, he was still able to secure one of the 20 European Tour cards available through the 2009 Rankings – though he left it late. Went into the final event of the season, the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, in 39th place in the Rankings, and in need of a top two finish to secure a return to The European Tour. Promptly raced into a three-shot lead at the midway stage, only for a third round 75 to seemingly put pay to his chances. But he roared back with closing 68 to force a play-off and, although he was beaten by Peter Whiteford on the first extra hole, the €34,200 he collected for finishing runner-up was enough to propel him 24 places up the Rankings to 15th. Earned a European Tour card for the first time when he became one of only six players to come through all three Stages of the 2006 Qualifying School. Emerged from the same golf programme as 2006 US Open Champion Geoff Ogilvy at the Victoria Institute of Sport in his home town of Melbourne, and is still coached by the Institute’s Head Coach Denis McDade.