Michael McGeady can't wait to get cracking on his first ever European Tour event when he tees off in the Johannesburg Open this week.
The genial Derryman may have missed out on his full European Tour card by the slimmest of margins last year when he bogeyed the last hole to miss out by just one shot, but he is taking only positives from the experience.
"A putt holed here or missed there is all the difference and I could have dropped a shot on the first to miss out just as easily as the last," he said from his Jo'burg hotel last night.
"I hit a good putt but it just bobbled a bit on me. That's the way it goes sometimes.
"But it was a great year for me all round and doing so well has got me a great category for this year where I can pick and choose my schedule, play in maybe ten main tour events hopefully including the Irish Open.
"But I will be concentrating on the Challenge Tour and hopefully try and get my Tour card that way.
"I've always been something of a slow developer but now everything is going in the right direction."
McGeady married girlfriend Lisa last year but had to delay the honeymoon to go to the final stage of Tour School so the pair headed off to Tahiti and Polynesia before returning home for Christmas.
"I hadn't picked up a club in six weeks since the Tour school basically, so spent a little bit of time on the range at the Foyle golf centre last week which was just about the only place I could hit a few balls," he said.
"Since I've been working with coach Brendan McDaid I've found that I can take a long break and pick up my game again much quicker than before. I got out here a little early just to get in a little bit
of extra practise because I need to get back to match fitness after the cruise in Bora Bora while we were away.
"Making the cut or maybe a top ten finish would be a great week for me but I've no real goal, only to go out and enjoy it and give it a good shot.
"This is my first ever European Tour event and I want to make the most of it."
McGeady was part of a wave of Irish success last year when he won the Wales Challenge on the Challenge Tour last year.
"That was crucial for me and helped me finish in the top 45 on the rankings which got me into the final stage of the Tour school because the second stage clashed with my wedding," he said.
"I was really pleased with the way I played that week and had been playing so it would be good to pick up where I left off."
McGeady is rooming with Michael Hoey (pictured) this week with Jonathan Caldwell making up a trio of Ulstermen in action this week.
"Seeing them get their cards at the tour school was a lift for me as well because I know Michael's game inside out and it would be nice to think I could be up there with them," he said.