BLACKWOOD’S Bradley Dredge is hoping a single shot can salvage his season as he desperately clings to his European Tour card.
The 39-year old former two-time winner needs to finish the season in the top 115 on the European Tour Race to Dubai rankings in order to retain his card for a 14th successive season.
He has been well outside that mark for a number of months and began last week 123rd ahead of the Dunhill Links Championship.
However, Dredge helped his cause by finishing tied 34th and that was in no small part down to an eagle on the 72nd hole, a 20-foot putt that catapulted him to 118th on the rankings.
Dredge starts the Portugal Masters today knowing that he must use the impetus from his eagle to complete his turnaround.
“I will not know until the end of the Race to Dubai the full importance of my final shot at this year's Dunhill Links,” he said.
“But it should be worth a few thousand and that could turn out to be quite serious as I battle to finish in the top 115 of the money list and keep my card for 2013.
“Having started at the tenth tee, my last hole was the 352 yard par four ninth and I only finished up 20 foot from the hole with my drive and then sank the putt for an eagle.
“That allowed me to sign for a three under 69 and with a nine under total I moved several places up the leaderboard.
"And an eagle was a nice way to sign off because my golf overt the other 17 holes was always pretty steady since I drove the ball well.
“But given the large greens at St Andrews my approach game was not sharp enough to set up many birdie chances.”
However, Dredge is still troubled by his form.
“I know there are no basic flaws in my golf which need to be sorted out,” he explained. "One of my problems is my putting. One of my priorities it to improve my work on the greens with a new putter because that is always the key to scoring low.”
After Portugal Dredge has just one more event, in South Africa, as his bid to stay on the European Tour goes down to the wire.