Wil Besseling goes into the Challenge Tour Grand Final with a real chance of earning a European Tour card at the end of the week, an outcome which would complete a drastic change in fortunes for the Road to Mallorca Number 18.
The Dutchman was the first man to miss out on a spot in the season-finale in 2018, finishing 46th on the Rankings and, prior to the event, was just 359 points behind last-man-in Antoine Rozner.
However, bolstered by a tie for third place at the Hainan Open, Besseling will tee it up at Club de Golf Alcanada, Mallorca, just three places outside the all-important top 15 with success on Sunday at the forefront of his mind.
“Being here and being in the Grand Final is nice,” he said. “The Challenge Tour has done a good job in finding this place and having the Grand Final here.
“I’ve been playing decent over the last two months. I feel my game has grown and mentally I’m getting stronger so hopefully I can do well this week. Obviously I need a good finish here to get my card but I’m feeling confident to actually do it, so hopefully on Sunday I’ll be able to get my card.
“It’s a new course for everyone so it’s hard to think about scores, so I’m not thinking about that. You need to do everything well to actually win this event because everyone is playing well and everyone’s got a chance to win this week.”
The 33-year-old was in contention for his first European Challenge Tour win in 11 years in Hainan, but after finding the water on the penultimate hole of the tournament and carding a double-bogey, he was forced to settle for a share of third place.
A tied 46th place finish in the Foshan Open ended a strong two weeks for the man from The Netherlands where he more than halved his Road to Mallorca Ranking.
“I was 40th going into China so missing out again did go through my mind, but I felt good going into those events.
“The last few months have been going well so I was happy to be in contention in the first week in China in Hainan, and I actually expected a bit more in the second week. I wanted to be in a similar position to the week before, but that’s golf I guess.
“I was pretty pleased with how I played in China and it gave me a chance to get my card this week. It’s been good and hopefully I can get the job done.”
The Challenge Tour Grand Final is the 24th and final event on the Road to Mallorca, where the top 45 players on the Rankings compete for one of 15 European Tour cards on offer.
Such is the breakdown of prize money this week in Mallorca, any player will graduate to the European Tour with a victory, giving everyone in the field a shot at glory.
Playing privileges on the top tier is not the only prize on offer this week, as the battle to be crowned Challenge Tour Number One reaches its conclusion, with Scotsman Calum Hill currently leading the way from Francesco Laporta and Richard Bland.
The final event on the 2019 Road to Mallorca will begin at 8.30am local time with Coussaud, Laurie Canter and Carlos Pigem playing in the first group of the day and Besseling set to go at 10:09am.