David Mortimer can end a magnificent domestic season by motoring off with the Lexus Race to Mount Juliet and a €10,000 bonus.
The Connemara ace, 35, wants to win the Irish Order of Merit title for the first time after claiming the Glenmuir PGA as well as his second Irish PGA crown this term.
But he knows it won’t be easy to overhaul money list leader David Higgins and rivals Damian Mooney, John Kelly and Darren McWilliams in an 18-hole sprint over the Jack Nicklaus track today.
Mortimer said: “It’s been a great year and I’ve never won the Order of Merit. I was second to Simon Thornton when I won the Irish PGA for the first time in 2006 so it would be great to win it this time.
“It’s just one round so I just have to keep the mistakes off the card and make as many birdies as I can.”
The Lexus Race to Mount Juliet was introduced for the first time this season with backing from Ping and Failte Ireland.
The top 30 in the money list battled all season to qualify for the deciding event over 18 holes with the winner of the Order of Merit banking a €10,000 bonus from the €50,000 prize fund well as spots in next year’s BMW PGA at Wentworth and the 3 Irish Open.
Waterville star Higgins leads the Order of Merit by less than €200 from Mortimer but with €4,000 on offer for the winner (second gets €2,800 and 30th place is worth €510), the top five in the money list can claim the overall €10,000 bonus awarded to the Lexus Race to Mount Juliet winner and the new Irish No 1.
And that means that Higgins is in danger of being overtaken not only by playing partners Mortimer and Mooney but also by former Order of Merit winner Kelly and young gun McWilliams.
“It’s going to be a sprint rather than a question of building up slowly over three or four rounds so hopefully I can get over the line,” Mortimer said. “Mount Juliet is probably the best course in the country so it’s going to be a great test. You have to be right on your game.”