Sam Hutsby is keen to end his early-season frustrations as he targets a vital run of tournaments.
The 23-year-old former Lee-on-the-Solent man missed the halfway cut at the ISPS Handa Wales Open last week after a disastrous 12-over-par opening-round 83 at Celtic Manor.
But while he deserves credit for the way he hit back with a gutsy level par 71 on day two, Hutsby’s tournament was over long before the prizes were handed out.
After starting his Nordea Masters campaign in Sweden with a three-over-par 75 yesterday, Hutsby faces another battle to make the cut.
But he believes he has seen enough in his game to stay optimistic.
Hutsby told The News: ‘This season has been frustrating for me.
‘I haven’t got into the number of events that I was hoping to.
‘I’ve played about half that some of the other guys have played and in the less lucrative ones.
‘It’s tough to be in category 11.
‘You really just need to maintain your card for a year or even take a top-10 on the Challenge Tour because anything worse than that, you are quite far down the entry list.
‘I always knew this year was going to be a tough year but I’ve played some decent events and did well in Spain recently. That was a big week because it was just before the re-rank and I haven’t done too badly in that.
‘I should get in a few more events for the rest of the year.
‘It’s just such a frustrating game.
‘I had a big score in tough conditions in the first round in Wales, and then 24 hours later I was playing some really nice golf.
‘There was too much damage done on that first round but you’ve just got to keep your chin up and move on to the next event.
‘But there is a good run of events now with Sweden, France, Germany and Ireland. It’s an important run coming up for me.’
While the former Walker Cup star admitted he was embarrassed by his score last week in tough conditions on the 2010 Ryder Cup venue, he showed great maturity to stick it out and iron out glitches – rather than withdraw after a poor round as many of his fellow competitors did.
Hutsby, who played two of his rounds with former Ryder Cup star Oliver Wilson, said: ‘There’s no point in spitting the dummy out, sulking and going home. You’ve got to be a man and get back out there.
‘You don’t want to shoot those kinds of numbers and it can be embarrassing.
‘It’s tough at times and I know I’m a much better player than that, but it’s just not quite showing at the moment.
‘I know it’s very close and it’s just a case of hoping that it happens this week or the week after because I felt like I found something in that second round at Celtic Manor.’
Hutsby admits he has also been unhappy with his putting of late but has turned to a new device for assistance as he pins his hopes on a big payday in the coming weeks.
He said: ‘My putting is something I need to work on but I’ve just bought a putting aid thing to help me start the ball on line.
‘It will take a bit of time to get used to but I played in Sweden two years ago and the greens were unbelievable so that should help.
‘I’ve got to aim for a top 20 or even better.
‘Finishing in the top 20 is never a disastrous week and you should pick up some good money along the way.
‘But you’ve got to aim for that week where you are right up there in contention to get a top-five or threaten for your first win.
‘That’s the way you are going to make some serious money.
‘Something like that would take the pressure off a bit.’