Rhys Enoch has set himself an ambitious target of a top 16 finish at the US Open as he bids to underline it as his breakthrough tournament.
The Welshman has already entered the record books with a second round 66 at Pebble Beach on Friday – the fourth lowest US Open round ever recorded at the course.
Enoch – who turns 31 today (Sunday) – is hoping to celebrate his birthday in style by finishing high enough on the final leaderboard to earn an automatic place in next year’s tournament.
To do that, he needs to overhaul a four-shot deficit. He followed up his five-under par 66 with an even par round of 71 on Saturday.
It leaves him tied for 41st place going into Sunday’s final round – four shots behind those golfers who are in joint 17th, who are placed at two-under.
The Cardiff-raised golfer said: “My aim was to finish top 16 to get me back in next year but I might have to shoot another record-breaking round. It would be a nice way to celebrate my birthday.
“I’ve made the cut in my last two majors, also at last year’s Open at Carnoustie, and it confirms what I’ve thought – that I am good enough if I can put it together.”
Enoch earned £18,000 at Carnoustie, where he made the cut for The Open 11 months ago and if he finishes inside the top 50 today then he will be guaranteed at least £20,000.
That matters for a golfer who is currently 60th on the rankings of the Challenge Tour, the main feeder circuit for the European Tour.
Enoch stands at No. 358 in the Official World Golf Ranking and is a member of the Sunshine Tour in South Africa, where he won in Cape Town last year.
His achievement in making the cut at the US Open puts him into the second stage of Web.com Tour qualifying, which helps tick off another box in the long road to what he hopes one day will lead to the PGA Tour.