Thornton hoping to bring form into Grand Final

11/1/2011 4:12:16 PM
Simon Thornton - 15th on the 2011 Challenge Tour Rankings ()
Simon Thornton - 15th on the 2011 Challenge Tour Rankings ()

Simon Thornton has insisted that he has not even looked at the various potential scenarios as he enters the season-ending Apulia San Domenico Grand Final looking to consolidate his place in the top 20 of the Challenge Tour Rankings and gain a full card for The 2012 European Tour International Schedule.

Thornton lies in 15th spot on €63,404 and if he remains within the top 20 come Saturday, he will be one of the lucky ones to gain a card for The European Tour.

However, every one of the 45 players present at the glorious San Domenico Golf in Puglia, Italy, this week can mathematically make it into the all-important top 20, so it will be no walk in the park for the 34 year old.

However, he has refused to entertain that notion, and insists he is just going to concentrate on his game in what is sure to be a week full of drama.

“I’m feeling good this week but there are so many different things that can happen I haven’t even thought about,” he said. “I’m just going to concentrate on playing well and it just takes care of itself then.”

Thornton did gain a card for The European Tour in 2010 before finishing 141st in The Race to Dubai, his best finish coming at the BMW International Open in Munich, Germany, where he finished ninth.

Thornton could still finish in the top 10 of the Rankings and earn a Category 10 exemption with a good finish this week. It would top off an impressive run of form for the Newcastle-based player, who has divided his time between The European Tour and the Challenge Tour this year.

Since August, he has earned three top five finishes on the Challenge Tour, finishing fifth in the Norwegian Challenge before following that up with a third place finish at the lucrative Kazakhstan Open.

His best finish of the season came two weeks later, at the ALLIANZ Golf Open Grand Toulouse, where he just missed out on his maiden Challenge Tour title, finishing runner-up to Sam Little.

“I've played better coming towards the end of the season and that’s generally how it goes for me, I tend to have a slow start and then pick it up towards the end of the season; but I’ve had a couple of good results now,” he continued.

“I’ve only played 11 events on the Challenge Tour, so I’m happy enough to be where I am now. I had a spell where I was playing well on The European Tour, but I’ve come in to this week with everything to play for.

“My game is good, I did quite a bit of work back home and got the game back in shape. The course doesn’t run that much but there is a bit of a ‘linksy’ feel to it, which suits me, coming from Royal County Down, especially if the wind picks up.”