Maybin targets fast start on return to Tour action

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Gareth Maybin watched the conclusion to the Race to Dubai from the comfort of his hotel room in South Africa where he has been preparing for the opening salvo in the 2014 season.
The 33-year-old returns to work this week at the South African Open Championship determined to build on a solid, if unspectacular 2013.
“There was a lot of good signs but also a lot of things that need to be addressed,” said Gareth who finished 95th in the Race to Dubai standings.
“The good signs were that when I made it into the weekend, I made a big dent in what I had to do. I finished fifth in Scotland and eighth in the French Open.

“I played well in those big events which helps the confidence.

“It would have been nice to kick on towards the end of the season but that didn’t really happen. I would have liked to have been a little bit more consistent. I think I missed seven cuts by a shot and if you make half of those it can turn an average season into a pretty good one.
“That’s the way the game is these days, there is a such a fine line between success and failure.”
Gareth is scheduled to play the next two weeks in South Africa before returning home and then he plans to compete in the three Middle East tournaments in early January followed by two more South African events, which will take him up to the end of February.
His 2013 season finished in the middle of October at the Portugal Masters and the break from competitive golf gave him the luxury of spending time at home with wife Liz and young son Reeve.
“It’s been great in many respects because you never really get a chance to do that type of thing,” he said.
“I relaxed for a week or so but since then I’ve been practicing and I’ve been back in the gym. I’m feeling pretty fit, strong and ready to go.
“How you start the year can make a big impact on how the season unfolds so the first four or five months can determine a lot.”
The South African Open Championship is the first event of a European Tour season that will feature a minimum of 48 tournaments in 26 different destinations.
Michael Hoey and Simon Thornton will also get their 2014 seasons underway at Glendower GC, as will Peter Lawrie, Damien McGrane and Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley.

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