Raymond Russell is looking to take encouragement from the resurgence of former Ryder Cup player Paul Broadhurst and make a swift return to the European Tour this week.
Russell finished 119th on the Order of Merit this year and, as a result, the 33-year-old Scot finds himself back at the dreaded Qualifying School, which gets under way today at San Roque.
In 2002, Broadhurst was at an equally low ebb following a wrist injury which threatened his career but, having regained his card at the Tour School, the Atherstone golfer completed his comeback this season by winning the Estoril Open in Portugal on his way to finishing 22nd on the money list and earning £640,000.
"Three years ago, Paul lost his card and had to go back to the school," said Russell, the winner of the Cannes Open in 1996.
"Since then, he's got his card back and won a tournament. It shows it can be done."
Russell is one of 156 players competing in Spain this week where, after a gruelling six rounds, the leading 30 players and ties will be handed places on the 2006 European circuit.
European Ryder Cup vice-captain Peter Baker heads a four-strong Midland contingent. The Wolverhampton man is back at the School after slipping to 160th on the money list while two other former Ryder Cup players, Philip Walton of Ireland and Sweden's Jarmo Sandelin, also compete.
The three other Midland hopefuls are Robert Rock, who was joint winner of the second-stage qualifying event at Emporda in Spain last weekend, Walmley's Sam Walker and a third Warwickshire-based golfer, Maxstoke Park's Tom Whitehouse.
Scotland's David Drysdale, who failed to keep his card by just £400, also takes part alongside Walker Cup player Gary Lockerbie and former Scottish amateur champion Andrew McArthur, the overall winner of stage two of the qualifying school last weekend.