Mooney has tour ambitions

By Brian Keogh

Massive hitting Damian Mooney hopes to make a mockery of his Challenge Tour ranking at the Q-School.

The Ulsterman, 39, finished dead last in the money list this season after making just one cut from seven starts.

But as he makes his third trip to the finals this week, the Belfast man knows he is a far better player than the numbers suggest.

He said: "I am 39 but I am still a youngster and I will give it a go and see what happens. I had 23 birdies and an eagle last week, so hopefully I can play well again here.

"I only finished seven under par because I had a few big catastrophes so keeping those off the card will be vital.

"There is always a chance that I will get my card but I am not making any predictions or putting myself under any pressure.

"Hopefully my experience will be a help and I can play well and enjoy myself.

"It is a proper golf course and you can open the shoulders rather than worrying about getting into trouble."

Mooney got to the finals in 1998 and again in 2000, when he earned a minor European Tour category.

But he failed to take advantage of it after breaking his hand in May 2001 and he's feeling good about his chances this time around.

His lowly Challenge Tour ranking was not for lack of opportunities this year.

But Mooney decided to avoid the money drain of the second-tier tour and concentrated mainly on the Irish circuit with selected appearances in European, Challenge and EuroPro events.

He said: "I had a category 10 on the Challenge Tour year because I finished second on the Europro Tour in 2006.

"But I didn't use it a lot because of the cost. I am not a young guy trying to get experience and I don't see the value in chasing my way around the world.

"There are a few guys chasing all over the world who are quite well sponsored. But you have got to live a life as well. It would be different if I was 19.

"You have to have an air of normality or you would go nuts. I am trying to make a living as opposed to a young fella who is trying to learn a wee bit."