Sergio Garcia this week has the best chance of his career to do something he has never done before - make a successful defence of a title.
Garcia, a winner six times in Europe and in America, is the only player in the world's top 25 competing in the £1 million Mallorca Classic, which is being played on the same Pula course where he did not have anything worse than a 68 last year in winning by four shots.
"It's not easy to play at the top level in the same tournament two years in a row, but I hope I can do well. I'm hitting the ball well," said the 25-year-old, who needs to compete this week to achieve the minimum 11 events required for European Tour membership.
Even playing as little as he has on his home circuit - Order of Merit leader Colin Montgomerie has appeared in 15 more events - Garcia is tenth on the money list with over £875,000.
And with finishes of first and third in his last two tournaments, the European Masters and American Express World Championship, he is an overwhelming favourite for the £170,744 first prize.
Garcia is also ninth on the US PGA Tour standings with one win, six other top-ten finishes and earnings of more than £1.7 million, so it cannot be said he has had a bad year.
But considering he has still to win a major and is sixth in the world now, compared to fourth at the end of 2002, he knows people expect more of him.
"I'd like to finish (the year) top five in the world ranking," he added. "It was a pity - I got closer to Retief Goosen, but every time I approached him, it seems he escaped by winning a tournament.
"But I'm not too far away. I have to keep going and be regular. You can't win two tournaments and miss eight cuts. I have to keep it going and try harder."
Goosen has now overtaken Ernie Els and gone fourth and, with Els hoping to make his comeback soon from the knee surgery he underwent after a sailing accident in July, Garcia has the opportunity to move up at this week's event and next week's Volvo Masters at Valderrama.
Fellow Spaniards Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez are also in the Mallorca field, as is Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam, who returned to form with a fifth-place finish in the Madrid Open on Sunday.
A long list of players are battling to keep their European Tour careers afloat, including Jarmo Sandelin, part of the Ryder Cup side in Boston just six years ago.
The Swede is 140th on the Order of Merit and needs a top-four finish to climb into the top 116 who keep their cards and avoid a trip to the Qualifying School next month.
Midlander Robert Rock needs even more of a miracle to win back the Tour card he lost last Autumn. A season spent relying on invitations has left him 183rd in the Order of Merit after 17 tournaments, with winnings of £30,121.
The other three local hopefuls on the Spanish island this weekend are far more secure. With winnings of £457,721, Steve Webster (27th) leads his North Warwickshire neighbour Paul Broadhurst by one place and £454 while Worcestershire's John Bickerton is 91st after his win last month took his season's earnings to £163,566.
Meanwhile, Scotland's David Drysdale has moved up from 116th to 115th without hitting a ball.
That was because Australian Mark Hensby, 43rd on the money list, has pulled out of next week's Volvo Masters.
Since Hensby will not now play the 11 events required for European Tour membership, his name has been removed from the Order of Merit and everybody below him goes up one place.
Another beneficiary could be Londoner Brian Davis. He is in America this week, but has improved from 60th to 59th in the money list because of Hensby's situation and if he stays in the top 60 he will qualify to play at Valderrama next weekend.
It would be a big blow to Davis' Ryder Cup hopes if he misses out.