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GOLF: Tour card is Paul's priority; ATHERSTONE ACE HAS MORE PRESSING CONCERNS THAN THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP.

PAUL BROADHURST booked his place in the 2004 Open at Royal Troon next month but today his priorities lie elsewhere.

The 38-year-old former Ryder Cup ace produced a superb effort at Sunningdale earlier this week to end a seven-year itch in the Open where he will be looking to show the form that has won him four tournaments on the Volvo European Tour since turning professional in 1988.

But Broadhurst's sights are set on securing his Tour card for next season and that means earning another pounds 20,000 which he hopes will come at the Smurfit European Open at the K Club in County Kildare, Ireland this weekend.

The Atherstone professional, who lies 72nd on the 2004 Volve Order of Merit with earnings of around pounds 110,000, said: "It came as a surprise to win through to Royal Troon - where I have played twice in the past and missed the cut both times - especially as my form had been rubbish at the French Open a few days earlier.

"And while it's good to have qualified, my main aim is to reach pounds 130,000 which guarantees me being on Tour next year and with 13 tournaments remaining it's not that tough a task so if I don't get there then I don't deserve to be, it's as simple as that!"

He continued: "Deep down I want to finish in the top 60 as that would get me into the lucrative Volvo Masters at the end of the year which is a big tournament and one I would really like to play in again and do well."

Broadhurst admits at times his unpredictability does cause him concern but that's been a trait he has experienced for most of his career, in which he has totalled more than pounds 3 million in earnings over the past 16 years.

"I go to Ireland in a positive frame of mind. It's a brand new course over there that I haven't played before so I'm looking forward to the challenge. I putted brilliantly at Sunningdale on Monday and hopefully that'll continue at the K Club.

"If that happens and my driving stands up well then I can certainly get a high finish," added Broadhurst, who quickly erased the despondency of a pair of 78s in the opening two rounds at the French Open with his top spot endeavours at Sunningdale.

derek_brown@mrn.co.uk

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POSITIVE FRAME OF MIND: A determined Paul Broadhurst
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Words:412
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