PHILLIP Price will go in search of a career-first John Jacobs Trophy when he tees it up at the 2019 Staysure Tour season-finale, the MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius.
The 2002 Ryder Cup hero leads the Staysure Order of Merit by 556.2 points and knows that a 12th top 10 – ninth place or better – of the season would see him crowned Staysure Tour No. 1 for the first time.
Price, who lifted the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship trophy in August, has recorded 10 other top 10 in a very consistent 2019 campaign, which included a share of third place at last week’s MCB Tour Championship – Seychelles.
There are five players hoping to knock 53-year-old Price off the top spot in the year’s final event, held at Constance Belle Mare Plage.
James Kingston, who failed to convert his overnight lead in the Seychelles, Madagascar winner Barry Lane, Lancashire’s David Shacklady, last week’s winner Peter Fowler and Argentinian rookie José Coceres, are pushing Price for the honour of holding the John Jacobs Trophy come Sunday.
But to become the Staysure Tour Order of Merit winner they must triumph in Mauritius and hope Price finishes down the leaderboard.
The Welshman has finished tied fourth on two occasions at the European Tour Destinations venue. But Price is aware of the challenge that lies ahead of him should he wish to end a memorable season with more silverware.
“I think another top 10 would do the trick to win the Order of Merit but I’m trying to think better than that,” Price said. “I like this course and I like this week at Constance Belle Mare Plage.
“If I have a good week, then everything else will take care of itself.
“There is pressure on me because I’m out in front on the Order of Merit and there are a lot of guys who could pass me because there are a lot of points to play for.
“I have to focus on what I need to do and not be worried about everybody else,” added Price, who recorded three victories on the European Tour, having joined via the Qualifying School, in 1991.
“It would be nice to get off to a good start tomorrow because it would settle me down,” said Price.
“I want to have a good week and I want to have a high finish and I want to get involved in the tournament.
“I’d like to win the MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius after coming close a couple of times. I want my mind to be thinking about the top of the leaderboard and not what everybody else is doing.”
After 18 events, the MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius will bring the 2019 Staysure Tour season, and the three event final series MCB Tour Championship, to a close.
Australian Fowler currently leads the race to become King of the Swing, awarded to the top-performing player in the Indian Ocean events – following his share of 20th in Madagascar and his victory in the Seychelles last week.
The Rookie of the Year, meanwhile, will be fought for by three players – 1999 Open winner Paul Lawrie, who currently leads the battle for the award, Sussex’s Gary Evans and American Dan Olsen, who has produced some eye-catching rounds without quite converting his fine form into a win.
The final action of the season at the MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius gets under way at 8.30am local time with Price teeing off at 11.15am – Mauritius is four hours ahead of GMT.
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