sport

Fallen duo on road to redemption

Nick Dougherty returns to his day job on Thursday when he competes in the Barclays Kenya Open on the Challenge Tour.

And while there will be many hoping the 31-year-old performs well enough this season to regain his place on the European Tour, an alternative career seems assured if he cannot rediscover the form which brought him three tournament victories between 2005 and 2009.

Dougherty, who was a member of the winning Walker Cup team in 2001 along with the likes of Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell, was a welcome addition to the Sky Sports television coverage of recent events in South Africa.

As articulate as ever, Dougherty offered genuine insight into the action and had done far more research than many other players in his position, even going as far as to telephone the manager of Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen to find out more information.

No doubt Dougherty - who lost his European Tour card at the end of 2011 - would prefer to be in the thick of such action rather than passing comment on it, but he knows there are no guarantees of success and will see evidence of it at first hand in Kenya.

Former Ryder Cup star Phillip Price is also in the field at Karen Country Club as he starts a season without a European Tour card for the first time since 1990.

Price won three times on the European Tour, the last coming in the European Open in 2003, the year after he had beaten Phil Mickelson in the singles to help Europe to a Ryder Cup triumph at The Belfry.

However, after a brief and unsuccessful stint in the United States, Price struggled to maintain that form and has not finished higher than 100th on the European Tour money list since 2004.

"It's a bit different here this week having played on the European Tour for so long," Price admits. "I have to get used to a few different things, but I didn't play well last year so I will just try and turn it around this season.

"Eventually I want to get back on The European Tour and if I want to do that I have to come here and play the Challenge Tour. I still want to play so I will need to work hard and do what's necessary to achieve that.

"I think this season will definitely give me a new sense of determination, and I will have to get my head down, no matter where I play or how I travel. I'm pretty determined that I'm going to get back up there again though."

The 47-year-old added: "I want to be competitive at 50. Miguel Angel Jimenez is doing well on Tour now and I don't want to put any age limit on my game. If I can just get out there and take it year by year and see how my body is faring, then hopefully it will all go well.

"I don't think I'll ever go on to be better than I was to be honest. I'm 50 in two and a half years so I just want to keep playing, get back on Tour and do it again there."