RICHARD McEvoy says he is hungry to get back onto the golf course and win back his European Tour card.

The 34-year-old from Leigh lost his playing privileges by missing out on a top 110 spot last year and then seeing illness wreck his chances at the end-of-season qualifying school in Spain.

The financial ramifications of that for the experienced pro, who has a young family, left him pondering his future in the sport.

But he has now secured some vital sponsorship and is chomping at the bit to get cracking on the second tier Challenge Tour in the spring.

“I’m really excited about this year now,” he said.

“I’m very grateful for the sponsorship and I am determined to do well on the Challenge Tour, as I have before.

“I am confident I can get in that top 15 and win my card back. I can’t wait to get started now.”

The Challenge Tour’s schedule has not been published yet but McEvoy says he will get underway in Kenya in March.

A top 20 spot will earn the Thorpe Hall pro his European Tour card back although anything above 15 will only guarantee a downgraded category.

He said: “I showed some good form towards the end of last season and finished well at the Dunhill (a prize purse of 35,544 euros).

“I think if I hadn’t been playing well then, then I might feel differently now.

“I’ve had a rare chance to spend lots of quality time with the family over Christmas and I’ve been working hard at the gym to get back in shape for the tour.

“I know the Challenge Tour is a stepping stone tour but I’ve got no regrets about what’s happened.

“I feel really good about where I am and I’m hungry to get back out there now.”