Colm Moriarty, the man in arguably the most unenviable position on the Challenge Tour Rankings at this week’s Egyptian Open presented by SODIC, is doing his best to avoid the pressures of the magic number 45.
With England’s Jamie Elson set to be removed from the current Rankings having not played enough tournaments to fulfil his Challenge Tour Membership commitment, Moriarty now occupies 45th spot on the Rankings, the last qualifying position for next week’s elite field Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, where the top 20 players at the end of the week will win the ultimate reward of a place on The 2011 European Tour International Schedule.
Of course there are many players Ranked well below Moriarty that would bite his hand off to trade places with him at the JW Marriott Mirage City Golf Resort in Cairo, but the 31 year old is faced with an excruciating tactical dilemma this week: does he attack the golf course and try to boost his Ranking or play safe in the hope that a conservative performance will see him consolidate his position and guarantee a spot in next week’s Grand Final?
“I try not to think about any of that!” laughed Moriarty after his opening round of level par 72 in Egypt. “It is a funny position to be in but you can’t just play to order in that respect – you have to try and play like it is the first week of the season and see how you get on.
“I can understand why the focus is on the guy in 45th position this week – it is going to be a great week or a disastrous one so people are going to be watching me to see what I am doing.”
Thankfully (for the sake of his own sanity) Moriarty is a man who can look upon his high pressure situation with a smile.
“You try not to think about it but it’s pretty hard when everyone you know reminds you about it!” he continued.
“Obviously all of the boys on the Challenge Tour talk about the Rankings and who is where and who has to what at this time of the year, but, it is a good thing that the nature of the tour means that a lot of the pressure is taken off by the fact that a lot of the talking is taken with a pinch of salt and looked at with a lot of humour.
“It’s just as well because you need to be able to look at these things on the bright side. At the end of the day, no matter what happens this week, you can look to any part of the season where you missed a short putt or missed a cut and blame that for your Ranking position – it’s not just about this week.”