Carlos Del Moral is hoping to dull the pain of missing out on a place at The Open Championship by a single shot by continuing his resurgence in form at the A.G.F. Allianz Open des Volcans – Challenge de France.
The Spaniard missed out on the chance to play at the season’s third Major Championship at Carnoustie by one stroke at the International Final Qualifying event on Monday, but he will arrive at the Golf des Volcans in the Clermont Ferrand region of France buoyed by the fact he is beginning to recapture the form that made him a Challenge Tour champion last season.
It was almost 12 months ago that the 21 year old from Valencia captured the Texbond Open, but since then his results have not reflected his talent on the golf course.
A change in attitude, inspired by his coach, Pedro Contreras, has restored Del Moral’s faith in his ability and given him hope that he can start climbing the Challenge Tour Rankings.
His fourth place finish at the recent Credit Suisse Challenge was by far his best result of the season, and he followed that up by playing well enough at The Open Qualifier at Sunningdale, which featured 120 players, to finish just one stroke outside the top 16 places that were rewarded with a place at Carnoustie in three weeks’ time.
“I am hitting the ball better than I have done for a long time because I have been struggling all year with my game,” said Del Moral.
“The main change is that I have started to practice a lot harder than I ever have before, and it is paying off for me. It was my coach who told me that I have to work harder, and it is starting to come together for me.”
Del Moral is one of seven players at the A.G.F. Allianz Open des Volcans – Challenge de France who missed out on a place at The Open at the beginning of the week.
Challenge Tour Number One, Edoardo Molinari of Italy, was at Sunningdale for the 36-hole Open Qualifier, along with Sion Bebb of Wales, Del Moral, Welshman Jamie Donaldson, England’s Chris Gane, Michael Jonzon of Sweden and Englishman Tim Milford.
Molinari, of course, has already won twice on the Challenge Tour this season and can become the first player in history to win instant and automatic promotion to The European Tour via the Challenge Tour Rankings by collecting a third victory in France.
With other double winners of 2007 – Joost Luiten of The Netherlands and England’s Ross McGowan – not playing at the A.G.F. Allianz Open des Volcans – Challenge de France, Molinari has a chance to increase his lead at the top of the Rankings in what is becoming an intriguing struggle for the Number One spot.
Another man in a great position to improve his current standing is home favourite Michael Lorenzo-Vera. Currently fifth on the Rankings, Lorenzo-Vera finished second to Germany’s Martin Kamer at the A.G.F. Allianz Open des Volcans – Challenge de France last year and will be looking to go one better on home soil.