He needs just over €3,000 from the ISPS Handa Perth international in Australia this week to catch the man ahead of him on the Race to Dubai rankings, but James Kingston will be approaching the tournament in the same way as he does all others.
Kingston, the 2007 South African Open champion, has been playing on a limited card on the European Tour this year, but his 14 starts have seen him pull off four top-20 finishes, the best of which came with his share of sixth in the BMW PGA Championship in May.
That has seen him in 111th position in the Race to Dubai, and with 110 players on that list assured of European Tour cards for 2014, Kingston’s position in Perth is clear: Make some money with a solid performance, and Europe can be his playground for another year.
“I can’t do anything different than any other week,” said Kingston. “I’ve got to treat it like a normal golf tournament. I can’t go out and try anything different, but I have to play the kind of golf that has got me into this position, which is to have a chance of playing in 2014.”
For Kingston, the hard reality is that, besides that sixth place, his top-20s have all come on home soil – in the Joburg Open, the Africa Open and the Tshwane Open – so he’s going to have to improve his performance while abroad to assure himself of a spot in Europe.
“It’s a great golf course,” said Kingston of Lake Karrinyup Country Club. “The weather looks like it’s going to be good, so it’s going to make for a good tournament. I’ve been playing nicely, and I would have loved to have played last week in Portugal, but I couldn’t get in. So it comes down to this event.
“To have played last week would have given me some tournament practice going in here, but I have come in to Perth early enough and had enough time to get over the jet lag, and with a little preparation, I’ll be ready,” he added.
Despite the pressure, he feels confident of his chances of regaining that card: “I know I can play the game,” he said. “I know I’ve won out here, and I guess that’s where experience comes in and I’ll try and play normal golf and treat it like another regular event.”