The lucrative Kazakhstan Open provides a golden opportunity for a player to jump up the Challenge Tour Rankings as the season nears its conclusion.
With seven events remaining before the end of the campaign, when the top 20 in the Rankings will earn European Tour cards for 2012, a fine performance in the €400,000 event, being played next week, is akin to a lottery win, as Scott Jamieson showed last year.
The Scotsman was down in 75th place in the Rankings and, by his own admission, “plodding along”, but then he managed a tied second place finish in Kazakhstan to earn €32,000 and rocket up to 20th place.
That result proved a catalyst, as he subsequently had three more top tens before the end of the season to finish 14th in the Rankings, and he has not looked back, taking his rookie year on The European Tour by storm with five top tens to sit 37th in The Race to Dubai.
A year earlier it was Chris Gane who benefitted from the Kazakhstan Open at Zhailjau Golf Resort. The Englishman was 47th in the Rankings before coming runner-up to Edoardo Molinari, but the cheque for €44,000 lifted him to 11th, and he eventually finished the season 13th.
In 2008, Stuart Davis earned €47,300 to finish second to Gary Lockerbie, which was enough for him to ultimately finish 20th in the Rankings, just €259 ahead of 21st placed Marco Ruiz.