Justin Walters heads to the Kazakhstan Open this week with every chance of securing his card at the richest event on the Challenge Tour schedule.
With just seven events left on the schedule, chances to consolidate a top-20 spot by the end of 2012 are dwindling. But Walters, a two-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, knows what he needs to do.
The 31-year-old currently holds 20th on the Challenge Tour Order of Merit, which puts him just inside the bubble for a full European Tour card next year. But the young guns will come out blazing in their attempts to snatch that spot, and Walters needs a good result to further cement his place.
Where better than the Kazakhstan Open to improve your position on the Money List? Walters would follow a long list of success stories that came from the national open of the ninth-largest country in the world. In fact, a top-10 finish in Kazakhstan would set him onto the same path as the likes of Martin Kaymer, Edoardo Molinari, Jamie Donaldson and Richie Ramsay.
Joining the local charge is Tyrone Ferreira, currently in his second year on the Challenge Tour. Aside from taking a share of third at the Barclays Kenya Open in April he has been quiet on the Challenge Tour this season. That doesnÂt mean he canÂt suddenly boom into contention Â last year he finished tied sixth in Kazakhstan, and a win there was worth a cool Â 64,000 in 2011.
The top of the Order of Merit is Gary Lockerbie, who has earned a cool Â97,496 this year. Using that as a yard stick, one quickly sees how immense the Kazakhstan prize money is proportional to other Challenge Tour events. And that means itÂs Âgo timeÂ for both Walters and Ferreira.