Simon Thornton and Gary Murphy went in opposite directions when the first re-rank of the European Tour season took place this week.

Rookie Thornton moved up ten places in Category 11 to 18th but Murphy dropped from 17th to 28th after blowing a golden opportunity to put a nightmare start to the season behind him in Mallorca.

Former Royal County Down assistant Thornton had been hoping to do even better and already had the re-rank in his sights when he committed to the Madeira Islands  Open BPI  - Portugal, the weekend his first child was due.  

Last week’s stop in Mallorca was the first chance for the Qualifying School and Challenge Tour graduates to improve their ranking before the second re-rank in August.  

Having started his first season on tour in difficult personal circumstances - given the untimely passing of his father in January - Thornton stuck to his schedule and respected his father’s dying wishes by playing the Africa Open ahead of the funeral.

Understandably, he missed the cut but then returned to Africa after the funeral to finish 17th in the Joburg Open.

Thornton went on to make the cut in the Open de Andalucia and Madeira Islands but missed out in the Spanish Open and the BMW Italian Open.

He was hoping for an improvement in his fortunes in Mallorca last week but despite intense physiotherapy, he was forced to withdraw with a back injury midway through the first round.

Murphy looked certain to end a run of disappointing form in Mallorca when he opened with a two under 68 to share third place on day one.

Incredibly, he suffered a total collapse in the second round, carding a nine over par 79 to miss the cut by a shot. It was his 11th missed cut of the season and the Kilkenny man will head for next week’s Madrid Masters in dire need of a confidence boosting performance.

Spain’s Alejandro Cañizares suffered a play-off defeat to Peter Hanson in the Iberdrola Open Cala Millor Mallorca but his runner up cheque helped him top the first re-rank of 2010 with €280,000 in prize money.