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Golfer Benn Barham in buoyant mood as tries to save his European Tour card

Benn Barham
Benn Barham

Kent golfer Benn Barham goes into the most important month of his professional career knowing his game is "almost better than ever."

The 33-year-old from Tenterden suffered a disappointing finish to the Castello Masters in Spain last Sunday to leave his future on the European Tour still in jeopardy and he heads to Australia knowing he has one last chance to automatically save his card for 2010.

Barhamneeded a top 10 finish to secure his card and looked well-placed as he moved to 12-under-par after 11 holes of his final round. But three bogeys in the last four holes saw Barham finish with a level-par round, leaving him on nine-under for a share of 25th place.

Barham opened the tournament with a three-under 68 before making significant headway up the leaderboard with a six-birdie 66. A third round 70 kept him in contention but, with most of the field posting below-par scores on the Sunday, Barham slipped back into the pack to finish 11 strokes behind the winner, Michael Jonzon, of Sweden.

He now flies Down Under next week to compete in the JBWere Masters at Walton Heath Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia, which starts on November 12.Barham is currently 129th in the European Tour Race To Dubai and the top 115 automatically secure their card for next year. Failure to finish in the top 115 means he will have to compete in final Tour qualifying over six rounds in Spain at the end of the month.

Despite the uncertainly over his 2010 playing future, Barham said: "I have a lot to be happy about. I have a great life, lovely family and so much support. I have seen an improvement in my game over the last two months which has been encouraging.

"I have been working on my long game with a new coach because tee-to-green I was not playing great. My game looks positive long-term but obviously the short-term is a bit sticky."

He added: "My sheer grit and determination, which I know I have got, put me in a good position in Spain but I had a disappointing finish to my last round and that cost me. I found out midway through the tournament that the European Tour had added another tournament in Australia and, without making any excuses, that probably didn't help me."

Barham has already played in Australia this year when he finished 67th in the Johnny Walker Classic at The Vines Resort & Country Club in Perth.

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