Maybin targets Rookie of Year

Gareth Maybin has set his sights on Rookie of the Year honours after grabbing a last gasp invite for the Dubai Desert Classic.

The Ballyclare star, 28, got the good news on Sunday and hopes his scorching run of form doesn't dry up on his desert debut.

Maybin said: "It's a great bonus. You always want to play in the big tournaments and this is one I've watched a lot on TV.

"I was practising at Lake Nona and Isleworth in Florida last week and the game is a bit rusty but you never know what could happen."

Challenge Tour graduate Maybin made a red hot start to his European Tour career when he finished second in the South African Open before Christmas.

Ranked 92nd in the world, he's already 21st in the Race to Dubai more than halfway towards retaining his card.

But he's setting his targets even higher with a place in November's $10m  Dubai World Championship and Rookie of the Year honours top of his hit list.

Maybin said: "Finishing second in the South African Open has given me a great start and now that I'm 21st in the Race to Dubai the goal is to make sure I qualify for the Dubai World Championship at the end of the season.

"The top 60 make that so I've made a good start but Rookie of the Year has got to be a big goal as well.

"I'm just going to keep playing and having fun and see where that takes me."

Maybin has already racked up over €144,000 from his first four starts and could secure his card if he finishes in the top five this week.

He said: "That would be a huge bonus. But if it doesn't happen this week it's no big deal. I will go to Malaysia, Australia and Indonesia and see what that brings me.

"My college room-mate is getting married during the week of Madeira but I'll be back out again when the tour hits Spain and Portugal."