Pressure off Simon Wakefield to get European Tour card

Simon Wakefield
Wakefield lost in a play-off to Kenneth Ferrie at the Austrian Open on Sunday

Simon Wakefield has admitted that closing in on his European Tour card for 2012 has reduced the pressure on him for the rest of the year.

Wakefield moved up to 102nd in the Race to Dubai standings following his second-place finish at the Austrian Open in Atzenbrugg on Sunday.

The top 115 players are certain to retain their tour card for 2012.

"It's a tremendous pressure off me," Wakefield told BBC Radio Stoke. "I can enjoy the last four or five events."

The 37-year-old has won €217,480 (£189,888) in 2011, around €20,000 more than the player currently 116th in the rankings, Spain's Alejandro Canizares.

"Anybody that starts the season, their goal initially is to get enough money to retain their card," added the Stoke-on-Trent player. "Once you've done that, getting into the top 60 of the Race to Dubai is a bonus.

"I want to try and press on now and make the top 60."

Wakefield needed a victory at qualifying school in December to secure his card for 2011 and has impressed in the latter half of the year.

He finished tied for 15th place at the Irish Open in July and followed that with another top-20 finish at the KLM Open in Holland in August, before losing to Kenneth Ferrie in a play-off in Austria.

"The objectives of the week were to finish as high as possible, get enough money up to retain my card for the following year and play as well as I have been for the last few weeks," he said. "I achieved all of those goals."

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