Third place Moul eyes European Tour card

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JAMIE Moul is determined to make 2011 his breakthrough year after the Stoke by Nayland professional made a flying start to his Challenge Tour season – finishing two shots behind the winner in India.

The 26-year-old is targeting a so-far elusive European Tour card in his fourth year as a pro and is back in Suffolk busy preparing for the second tournament, next month in Columbia.

After a third-placed finish in the first Challenge Tour (the developmental tour for the PGA-run European Tour) event in January, Moul hopes to put the disappointment of the last few years’ inconsistency behind him and claim a top 20 finish.

That would guarantee a European Tour card for next season for the once highest-ranked amateur in the world (in 2007) to go head-to-head with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey and Retief Goozen next season.

“The last couple of years I have not played particularly well consistently, playing in fits and starts, so this year I am looking to make everything more comfortable and a top 20 spot is the aim on the Order of Merit to progress on to the European Tour,” said Moul, who finished on the verge of falling out of the top 100 on the Challenge Tour rankings after a disastrous end to last season, with the Colchester player not even making the cut at his home tournament in July.

This year, Moul hopes to use the continuation of the Challenge Tour directors using Stoke by Nayland to host the English-leg of the tour, again in July, to his advantage in consolidating a top-20 spot after a promising start at the Gujerat Kensville Challenge at Ahmedabad.

He said: “I had been practising quite well and towards the end of last season playing well, but for some reason not getting the results for it.

“But in India I played steadily on a course that was quite tough. I managed to stick in there and got a good result. I was floating around the top 20 after the first round, but I had the best score of the day on the last day.”

He added of his cheque for 14,000 euros received in India, where he played rounds of 72, 73 and 69: “To get that money up on the board this early is great. It takes the pressure off a bit and I can accumulate on top of that rather than chase it.”

For now, Moul is busy preparing himself on the greens of Stoke by Nayland for The Copa Antioquina in Colombia between March 10 and 13, where he hopes to continue a strong start to what he hopes will be his most memorable professional season.