GRAEME Storm is taking one hole at a time in his bid for European Tour success this season – but he still has one eye on a maiden entry into the world’s top 100 players, writes CRAIG HOPE.
The Hartlepool golf ace made an impressive start to his campaign at last week’s HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi.
Storm carded a four-under par for the tournament to tie for 30th position, pocketing a morale-boosting £15,000 and, more importantly, competing at the top end of what was a competitive field.
He tees off in the Qatar Masters in Doha tomorrow aiming to build on that success.
But, allowing himself to look further down the line, Storm admits that making the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) remains an ambition.
“I’d have to play fantastically well to get in the top 100 in the world and would have to win a tournament along the line,” said Storm, who tasted his sole tour victory at the French Open in 2007.
“And I’ve never been there, believe it or not, even after the win in France.
“I’ve been 102 before but that’s as close as I’ve got.
“It’s achievable and it’s something I’d love to do.”
For now, though, Storm is targeting a return to Europe’s top 60 players.
“My main aim is the top 60 in Europe,” he revealed. “I came 101 last year so I’ve got a few places to make up but I’m confident.
“I just need to be more consistent, which I was towards the back end of last season when I made the cut in the last four events.
“But when I was playing well consistently I’d only miss seven to nine cuts a year, last year I missed around 13 or 14.
“It was a poor season but there’s still a lot of golf left in me and I’ve tried a few different things to make this year more successful.”
Tomorrow’s event boasts another strong field and defending champion Thomas Bjorn, the Dane, is one of the favourites for the tournament.
Bjorn will be joined by two of the players currently in the top four of the OWGR - England’s Lee Westwood and Germany’s Martin Kaymer - plus Spain’s Alvaro Quiros and Sweden’s Robert Karlsson, the two champions who preceded Bjorn.
Storm tees off at 8am local time in Doha for his first round.