Golf star Ben Evans is aiming to start competing for victories on the European Tour after a solid beginning to the season.
The Staplecross-based professional lies 64th in the early stages of the year-long Race to Dubai standings having made the cut in six of his seven events so far.
If I can knock out those bogeys and still make the birdies, I feel like I can be up there and have a chance of winning.Ben Evans
Speaking at Sedlescombe Golf Club on Tuesday, he said: “I want to finish in the top 60 of the Race to Dubai (and thereby qualify for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai during November), and to be up there and have a chance of winning events.
“I’ve had a really solid start to the season. I’ve played nicely and carried on generally swinging and hitting the ball as I was hitting it towards the end of last year. My short game and putting was a bit rusty, but the greens are all different (at different events and venues) and it’s not easy to adjust sometimes.”
Evans’s highest finish of 2016 so far was tied 21st last time out at the Tshwane Open in South Africa and he also did pretty well to come tied 33rd in a high class field at the previous week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
“Some rounds I’ve been really pleased with,” he continued. “To fight back really nicely in Dubai in the final round was a really nice finish to the tournament.”
Evans is eligible for almost every event on the tour schedule outside the majors and World Golf Championships this year after scraping into the top 110 on the Race to Dubai last year despite only having limited playing privileges.
The 29-year-old considers his tied eighth place finish at the M2M Russian Open in early September a real turning point and says he’s played nicely since then.
Evans has been working with Steven Orr, a performance coach at Rustington Golf Centre, and last year started doing a lot of statistical analysis, as well as assessing what he’s doing with his practice time, and before and after rounds.
After falling off the European Challenge Tour in 2012, Evans’s career has been on very much an upward curve since securing a top five place on the Alps Tour order of merit in 2013 and clinching his first tournament win as a professional.
He finished 17th on the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2014 and his strong showings on the European Tour last year earned him the extensive playing opportunities he is enjoying in 2016.
“Dan Gale (head professional at Willingdon Golf Club) helped me a lot when I was really struggling,” Evans added. “I went back to square one really, and had a massive change of mindset and gameplan.
“I’m now less aggressive than I was before and play to my strengths a little bit more. Pars are good and it’s more about momentum.
“I generally make enough birdies to compete. In the first three rounds in Dubai I made as many birdies as (runner-up) Andy Sullivan, I just made too many mistakes where I’ve been a bit rusty at the start of this year.
“If I can knock out those bogeys and still make the birdies, I feel like I can be up there and have a chance of winning.”
After three weeks away from competition, Evans will return to tournament action at the True Thailand Classic, which starts next Thursday, before moving on to the Hero Indian Open a week later.
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