Hutsby searches for spark

Sam Hutsby
Sam Hutsby
Scott Gregory. Picture: Andrew Griffin

Gregory misses out

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Sam Hutbsy is in need of a kick-start to 2015 after a slow opening to the new campaign on the European Tour.

The former Lee-on-the-Solent man regained his full playing privileges in the top flight after a superb second half to the 2014 season saw him back to his best.

A string of good results saw him finish in sixth place in the overall standings on the Challenge Tour – with the top 15 players automatically earning their cards among the European elite.

Hutsby claimed an impressive four top-10 placings at the Karnten Open, Slovakian Challenge, Russian Open and the Rolex Trophy over the course of the season.

But his maiden victory at the Kazakhstan Open in September effectively sealed his passage back to the top flight for the first time since 2012.

He has shown throughout his career that when he clicks into gear, he is well capable of competing with the very best.

But the 26-year-old has so far been unable to recapture anything like that sort of form in his first four starts – missing the halfway cut at each of those events.

He turned in two disappointing rounds in the lucrative Omega Dubai Desert Classic, won by Rory McIlroy last week.

After posting scores of 74 and 79, he finished on nine over par at the Emirates Golf Club.

That left him 11 strokes adrift of the low-scoring cut line and in 127th place out of 132 players.

It was a similar tale at the Qatar Masters the previous week when rounds of 73 and 76 left him at five over par – six shots away from the cut mark.

He missed the cut by the same distance at Abu Dhabi the week before after rounds of 73 and 75.

And two successive rounds of 76 at the South African Open in early January left him kicking his heels at the weekend again.

With the tour moving on to Malaysia this week, Hutbsy’s ranking means he has not been allocated a place in the field in Kuala Lumpur with several entries given to Asian Tour players.

But he will be looking to return to somewhere near 
his best at the Thailand Classic, which starts on February 12.