Mark Tullo has this season provided a perfect example of capitalising on limited opportunities on The European Tour, and the Chilean will be one of the big winners when the category 11 re-rank takes place at the conclusion of this week’s Najeti Hotels et Golfs Open presented by Neuflize OBC.
This week’s event at Aa Saint Omer Golf Club marks the final chance for certain European Tour players to improve their chances of starts for the remainder of the season through the category 11 re-rank.
Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer, who is attached to European Tour Destination Golf and Country Club Fleesensee, is currently leading the category 11 re-rank, followed by Eddie Pepperell in second place and Andy Sullivan in third.
Morten Ørum Madsen, meanwhile, is in fourth place and while he makes his US Open Championship debut this week, money earned at the year’s second Major does not count towards the re-rank.Tullo graduated from the Challenge Tour last year after a 16th place finish in the Rankings, leaving him behind the Qualifying graduates in category 11 and limited in his opportunities on The Race to Dubai.
However, his performances thus far this year, which included a runner-up finish at the Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI and a top five at the Africa Open, have ensured that he will have close to a full schedule of events to choose from for the rest of 2013 as he now sits sixth in the provisional re-rank before this week’s event.The 35 year old has been delighted with his performances so far, especially given he was not even sure he would be physically able to play this year.
“The funny thing is it was looking like I might need a medical extension at the beginning of the year because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with my injured shoulder,” said the Santiago native.
“Thanks to The European Tour physio team and my specialist back in Chile, now I don’t have any pain when I play, which is great.
“From not knowing what was going to happen at the start of the year to being in a good position in the re-rank is great, but this is where you have to start playing well now, with the big tournaments coming up.
“You know you will have to finish at a certain number in The Race to Dubai to keep your card and these are the big events coming up, starting next week at the BMW International.
“It’s not easy early on coming from 16th in the Challenge Tour Rankings in terms of getting tournaments, so I've done a good job so far and for me, the season starts now because I’ll have more events so I'm pretty positive.”
Tullo is determined not to rest on his laurels and is now eyeing some high finishes, or maybe even that maiden win, in The European Tour’s more lucrative events.“Obviously from now on I will be getting into a few big ones and I just have to play as many as I can and we’ll see what happens,” he said. “If I'm feeling tired it will be difficult to know which ones to miss because they’re all big from now on.
“I just need to put my head down and keep working. I've still got one eye on that Open Qualifier at Sunningdale and who knows, maybe I’ll get a good day or get lucky.
“Everybody wants to play The Open and hopefully I can get into the other huge events on The European Tour, like the Alstom Open de France and the Omega European Masters.”
To view the provisional re-rank prior to the final counting event, Najeti Hotels et Golfs Open presented by Neuflize OBC, click here.