Failure to make whole game ‘click’ frustrates Yorkshire’s Finch

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On three separate occasions this season, Richard Finch has played his way onto European Tour leaderboards only to fade quickly when the tournament came down to the crunch.

At the Joburg Open, the Abu Dhabi Championship and the weather-interrupted Qatar Masters, the 34-year-old from Hull stormed out of the blocks.

But on each occasion he went backwards the following day, two of those mini-collapses coming over the closing 18 holes after he had done the hard work of forcing his way into contention.

Having sat out the last month to recharge his batteries, Finch picks up his clubs again for the Trophee Hassan in Morocco and the start of his summer campaign.

“I’m not far away, it just seems to be one week I’d putt badly, then the next my long game would let me down,” said Finch, who heads to Sicily next week and then on the European Tour’s journey to the Far East.

“In Abu Dhabi I didn’t play too well on Sunday, which was frustrating.

“I’m pleased in a lot of ways with the form I have shown. It’s at least good to have a glimpse that your good stuff is strong enough to be competitive and that if you can polish up on a few other little bits then it will all click together.

“That’s the mad game golf is. There are times when you can play well and not win, and not too well and do better.

“You can’t really judge whether you’ve had a good week or not depending on whether you win. A lot of the time you could have a really good week and then someone does even better.”

Finch even dabbled with a claw-style putting grip in Abu Dhabi, where he moved his right hand the opposite way around to a normal grip.

It paid dividends and is something he will continue with in Morocco this week.

Finch is currently 86th on the Race to Dubai standings and has slipped out of the world’s top 250 having flirted with the top 100 in 2008-09 when he was a regular fixture at the World Golf Championship events.

“I’d like to try and get back into them again,” he said.

“That will be the main aim of the season.”

Finch’s fellow Yorkshire golfers Danny Willett and Danny Denison are also in action.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has announced the qualifying school route to membership will be cut off from next year. Finchem confirmed the cards made available annually to compete on the lucrative circuit will be awarded through the second-tier Nationwide Tour.

Currently 25 places are on offer through ‘Q-school’.