MIDDLE earth will be the crucial centre of attention for Simon Dyson’s bid for a big bang start to the 2013 golf season.
After missing almost a quarter of the year through, initially, the birth of his first-born daughter, and then by serious injuries to both his pelvis and his right wrist, the York swing-king is now itching to get back to a fully-rounded schedule and winning ways.
Dyson’s contracted competitive year meant that he fell from his career-best placing of 26 in the world rankings at the outset of 2012 to his finish of 63rd.
Now after the festive break – buoyed too by an impressive final fling to 2012 – Dyson has targeted a rapid strike in a trio of tournaments in the oil-rich Middle East heralding the first concerted action of next year’s European Tour.
Looming large in the sights of the 35-year-old Dyson are the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the gulf state starting on January 17 through to January 20, followed a week later by the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in Doha and then proceeded immediately by the Omega Dubai Desert Classic staged in the United Arab Emirates.
Between them the three tournaments carry prize funds totalling just short of $8 million.
But for Dyson the principal drive will not be the cash, but to further enhance his world ranking, which was boosted by a timely lift when he opted to play in an event after the season-ending Race To Dubai championship last month.
In a change to his customary schedule, the Malton & Norton Golf club star jetted out to South Africa to play in the tournament.
He bagged a joint fifth place which elevated him six places to his current standing of 63 in the world.
That qualifies Dyson for all next year’s major tournaments, save for the US Masters, which requires a ranking in the top 50 by year’s end.
But victory in the opening series of 2013 events would guarantee him a coveted place at Augusta in April.