Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – As a field of hopefuls prepare for a potentially life-changing weekend at the LIV Golf Promotions event at Abu Dhabi Golf Club this week, Asian Tour star Kieran Vincent is doing everything he can to ease the pressure and focus on securing one of three golden tickets to next year’s LIV Golf League roster.
The up-and-coming Zimbabwean comfortably secured his place in the field for the innovative qualifying event running from 8-10 December thanks to a fourth-place finish on The International Series Order of Merit.
While 32 spots were on offer in total for players on the Order of Merit, Vincent is one of a select number who received an exemption into round two by way of his high finish at the end of the season, thanks largely to his victory at the International Series Vietnam in April.
That means the 25-year-old will join the top 20 and ties from Friday’s first round in a Saturday shootout, with the top 20 from the second round progressing further to a final day. Sunday will consist of two rounds with all scores resetting to zero ahead of the first of 36 potentially life-changing holes.
Despite so much at stake, Vincent is relishing the week ahead. He said: “Every week is an important week when playing golf but obviously this one is special – given the fact this one could have playing rights on LIV Golf for next year.”
Vincent, who just turned pro in June last year, added: “Ask me a year ago and I would think it mad that I would have the opportunity to play on LIV. To be in this position at this point of my career is just a huge advantage compared to where I thought I would be at this stage.
“It is an important week, but I will go out and have some fun. At the end of the day, golf is just golf and the more we try to up play the situation, the more pressure you can feel, so it is important to keep it simple. We live for those pressure moments.
“If there wasn’t any pressure, there wouldn’t be any privilege to it. I look forward to the opportunity, I’m not sure how we are going to handle it, but I will go out one shot at a time and take it from there.”
‘One shot at a time’ is a line that has also been used by Vincent’s older brother Scott, and it is a mantra that has paid dividends for the former Asian Tour regular.
Scott secured his LIV Golf playing rights a year previously by winning the inaugural International Series Order of Merit, and he more than proved his worth in the LIV Golf League by securing his place in the Lock Zone, the top 24 of the Individual Standings.
The 31-year-old also finished with one of the best returns in terms of counting scores in the team format last season. The Iron Heads star recorded a 92% scoring rate, only bettered by Major winners Brooks Koepka and Cameron Smith, who returned 94% of their rounds for Smash GC and Ripper GC respectively.
Will Kieran be asking for some brotherly advice ahead of the big week in Abu Dhabi?
“Absolutely! It would be naïve of me to think I know it all, especially when I have people that have gone there and experienced things ahead of me in the past. Everything is in my own hands, but I have a brother that I am close with, who I can reach out and ask for advice. I have already asked him for advice on travel, he’s very appreciative of this kind of thing so I’m happy to have his support.”
Vincent will be familiar with many in the field who also qualified via The International Series Order of Merit which covers the Asian Tour’s set of 10 marquee events every year.
And he is confident the Asian Tour massive will be rooting for each other as they all go in search of those three life-changing golden tickets to the LIV Golf League.
“I have been fortunate enough to play here for a whole year now with this group of guys and the camaraderie and spirit is I think what separates us from other tours.
“No one thinks they are above anyone else, everyone is trying to do the very best they can, and everyone tries to help each other out. I hope that stays, the guys have taken me under their wing and treated me like family ever since I joined the tour, it is very special.”