Comeback king Keith Nolan will go California dreaming in search of his PGA Tour card next week.
The Bray native is set to complete an amazing return from the golfing doldrums after clinching his place in the 108-hole final stage stage of the gruelling Q-School.
Nolan, 33, was at such a low with his game and his finances last year that he couldn’t even afford to enter the qualifying rat race.
But he could make a fairytale return to the PGA Tour after a six-year absence if he finishes in the top 30 at next week’s six round marathon at La Quinta.
After finishing fifth in stage two in Texas at the weekend to clinch his sixth visit to the nerve-wracking finals, Nolan is on a massive high.
But he admits that he will need to be at his best both physically and mentally to regain his place alongside Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington on the world’s No 1 professional tour in 2007.
As he prepared to head to California for a six round test that starts on November 29, he said: “It is the ultimate test of golf. It is as much a test of endurance as it is of your golf game.
“This is my sixth finals now, so I am kind of an old veteran at this point. But it is nice to come back after deciding not to go to Q-school last year. Maybe that helped, I don't know.
“It is all about focus and getting lots of rest. I am going to have nine straight days of golf if you include the three practice rounds.
“At this point I have got conditional status on the Nationwide Tour, but my ultimate goal is to get my PGA Tour card.
“I know you hear this a lot, but I have got to take it one shot and one day at a time. That is what I have worked on with my sports psychologist Patrick Cohn.
“My goals is to hit the fairway and then hit the green. The way my putting has been, if I can accomplish that on two tough courses out there over 108 holes then we will see.”
Putting is the difference between success and failure at the highest level and Nolan rolled the ball beautifully on the greens on Deerwood Golf Club in Texas where he shot rounds of 76, 68, 73 and 70 to qualify for the finals with four shots to spare.
He explained: “The key is that I started making more putts I think. I just hit it solid in the d final round and while I made a few mistakes, I was fortunate enough to hit a few shots coming down the stretch.
“I played really good in the first round on Wednesday when we had 45 mph gusts of wind I shot 76 but it was really difficult.
“That 68 in the second round was huge and even though I didn't finish the third round as well as I would like, I made six birdies in the final round, which was awesome.”
With young family to support in Knoxville, Tennessee, Nolan’s children are old enough now to know what daddy does for a living.
He said: “I don't think I slept a wink when I got back on Sunday but the kids woke up at 6am and they didn't care if I made it or not.
“Dad was home, so it was fun. They tell me every day before I play to make lots of eagles, so they know what it means.”