TOURNAMENTS totalling almost $8 million in prize money represent the starting-off point for Malton golfer Simon Dyson’s opening to the new year.
In just over two weeks’ time the 35-year-old Dyson tackles the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the gulf state, which will be followed in immediate succession by the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters held in Doha and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates.
The Malton & Norton Golf Club star’s main aim as he opens 2013 is to quickly improve a world ranking of 63, to which he has fallen from his lifetime best of 26 from 12 months ago.
York-born Dyson’s 2012 was blighted by absences totalling almost a quarter of the year.
After celebrating the birth of his first-born daughter, Dyson then suffered lengthy stoppages with serious pelvic and wrist injuries, which meant his meticulously-planned schedule was thrown awry.
But a late change in his finish to 2012 has provided a timely boost as he prepares to tackle his first swing of the new year.
Breaking from his normal December routine, Dyson opted to fly out to South Africa for a tournament after the season-ending Race To Dubai championship in November.
Dyson returned to some of his sharpest play, especially in his putting, and posted a tie for fifth place which then propelled him six places to 63rd in the world.
That has given Dyson the assurance of appearing in all next year’s major tournaments except for the US Masters in Augusta, which needs a top 50 ranking by the end of the previous year.
But victory in a top European Tour event over the next few months would seal a place in the Masters in April – the first major of the season – and now Dyson’s principal goal.