Thomas Aiken has had a good year on the European Tour so far – even if it’s not been that busy – and he resumes action this week in the Open de Espana at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Girona, Spain.
He has his Africa Open victory from February as the leading light in his season to date, as well as three other top-10 finishes with his share of eighth in the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban, of fifth in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and of fifth in the Joburg Open. And his worst finish is a share of 24thin the Tshwane Open, while he shared 19th in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
He was not quite as successful in the Sunshine Tour events he has played so far, with his share of 15th in the Investec Cup his best performance and a share of only 59th in February’s Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt his other result.
But the seven-time Sunshine Tour winner is returning to the scene of his maiden European Tour win from 2011, and the victory and the three top-10s he has achieved this year suggest he will be in the kind of form which make him a likely contender for another triumph.
In 2011, he had his best finish on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, closing out the year in 22nd spot. He is currently in 23rd spot after nine events, lying seventh amongst the leading South Africans on that list. Ahead of him are Louis Oosthuizen (third), Charl Schwartzel (seventh), George Coetzee (12th), Branden Grace (13th), Richard Sterne (17th) and Ernie Els (18th).
Aiken won his second European Tour in the 2013 Avantha Masters in India, so to get a second title in a single year on the tour in Spain this week would go a long way to cementing his place in the upper reaches of the 2014 Race to Dubai.