Tuesday, November 10, 2009

David Drysdale recalls turning point in career:

2008 British Masters increased determination

By Martin Dempster
David Drysdale, the sole Scot in the field for next week's season-ending Dubai World Championship, has spoken about the day that changed his career after he'd become a regular at the dreaded European Tour Qualifying School.
It came during last year's British Masters at The Belfry, where the 34-year-old, pictured, admitted he'd been jolted when he looked up at a giant TV screen at the side of the 18th green to see some monetary statistics about him and his two playing partners that day.
"I was playing with two very established golfers and, on a TV screen that must have been 20 feet long and 12 feet wide, they put up our respective earnings for the season," recalled Drysdale, who already knew at that point he was heading back to the Qualifying School.
"The two lads I was playing with (while Drysdale didn't reveal their identities, it is believed they were Paul McGinley and Franceso Molinari] had won about 800,000 euros and were lying in the top 25 on the Order of Merit.
"I looked up there, having outplayed those guys that day, to see I had earned a quarter of what they had. I remember saying to myself: 'How can this be happening?'"
Drysdale left The Belfry that week more determined than ever to regain his card at the end of last year, vowing to journalists after achieving that objective near Girona that he wouldn't be back at the Qualifying School ever again.
"That day was a massive turning point," he added. "It wasn't a case of re-dedicating myself or anything like that. I simply decided I would go back to the Tour School, get my card and kick on."
Kick on he certainly he has. Thanks to six top-10 finishes and a string of other consistent performances, he's currently sitting 46th on the money-list with 624,221 euros and, in the end, has got into the big-money event in Dubai with a bit to spare.
"After finishing second in Seville (in the Andalucian Open] in April, my goals changed from trying retain my card to trying to make top 60," said Drysdale."Since then, I think I've been in the top 60 all year, which is a great achievement, and I think my place in Dubai is something I deserve for the way I've played all season.
"To be honest, I think the way things have turned around for me is simply down to mindset and confidence. I've always had the ability to play good golf, but people say 98 per cent (of it) is in the head and they are absolutely right. If you get your mind right and have the confidence, you can achieve anything."
The Dubai event is just the start of an exciting end to the season. Straight after that, Drysdale's off to China with Alastair Forsyth to try to give Scotland a second World Cup success in three years before heading to South Africa for two events there before Christmas.
"Finishing 116th effectively on the European Tour money-list two years in a row was quite hard to take," said Drysdale when asked to pick out what had been the low point for him during the period when he struggled to establish himself on the European circuit.
"But I had still made a living those years – it wasn't as though I was bankrupt or anything like that. Both those seasons were probably the lowest point but I didn't have time to dwell on it. I had to start practising for Tour School and it never upset me to the point where I actually became bothered by it."
Looking to the future, he added: "I've not set any targets for next year yet, though I would love to play in the States at some point in the future. All I am concentrating on are the events I've still got to play this season and, if myself and Alastair Forsyth can re-create the golf we produced on the final day in the European qualifier in Estonia, there is no reason why we can't go close in the World Cup."
To help him prepare properly, Drysdale, who has just signed a new sponsorship with the International Beverage group that will see him promote their Scottish drinks products around the world, headed out to Dubai yesterday along with his coach David Downie, the pair having struck up an excellent understanding since they started working together in the summer of 2009.
"I was trying to get an invitation to this week's event in Hong Kong but that's not going to happen," he said. "I also thought about going to Australia (Tiger Woods is the star attraction in the co-sanctioned Australian Masters in Melbourne] but, after coming off ten weeks in a row, I think a couple of weeks off is more beneficial.
"I changed my plans to go to Dubai a bit earlier than I had originally planned and it is really just to try and get away from the weather here. I will practise and play some golf on courses that will be in a similar condition to the course (the Earth at the Jumeirah Golf Estates] for the Dubai World Championship."



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