For those professional golfers scrambling for survival in the lower reaches of the European Tour's order of merit, the next couple of weeks will be about as much fun as having an endoscopy.
Scott Henry will certainly testify to that. Not only is the 26-year-old rookie teetering perilously at the tour's gaping trapdoor, he's also had to endure the boak-inducing wretchedness of having a medical probe shoved down his thrapple.
"I'd been struggling with my health these last few weeks and was throwing up after eating," explained Henry, as he prepared for this week's Portugal Masters, the penultimate event on the European circuit's regular schedule. "It was worrying and it was only last week, when I had the endoscopy, that they discovered that I had a hiatus hernia. At least I now know what it is and I've got the medication to get it under control."
Henry is not one for seeking out excuses but the ailment that led to an uncomfortable gastroesophageal guddle has certainly not helped his quest to safeguard his tour card. Since his morale-boosting share of fourth on home soil in August's Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles - it lifted him to the brink of the safety zone - Henry has missed the cut in three of his last five events and remains precariously positioned at 121st on the money list, with the leading 110 retaining their place at the top table.
"Because of the hernia, I wasn't getting the goodness out of the food I was eating as it was coming back up," added Henry with a shudder. "I'd played the last six weeks but when it came to my last two, at the Italian Open and then the Dunhill Links, I was simply knackered. My mind was tired, I was losing concentration . . . I just wasn't there."
With the nagging concerns about his well-being now tempered, Henry has his fitness and focus back. He'll need both of those over the next fortnight, of course. Unless he makes a barnstorming finish in Portugal this weekend, the former Scottish Amateur Strokeplay champion will have to make the mammoth trek to Australia for a final throw of the dice in the last chance saloon that is the Perth International.
It's been very much a season of two halves for Henry, who graduated from the second-tier Challenge Tour at the end of a 2012 campaign that was illuminated by victory in the Kazakhstan Open. It's hard to hit the ground running when you're struggling to find your feet and in his first 14 events among the big hitters, Henry made just four cuts. In his last 13, he has missed just four but most of those early exits have come at the worst possible time. Now, the two-time Scottish Boys' champion needs a final flourish.
"It's going to be full-on these next two weeks," he admitted. "I've not really had to look at the order of merit because people are asking me about it all the time. I think I've learned more in this one season than I have in my previous five. I've got two events to achieve what I want to. Fingers crossed, I can stay here."
There will be a fair amount of fingernail gnawing on the Algarve over the next four days. Ian Rae, who has been Henry's coach for more than a decade, will no doubt be nibbling away at the cuticles.
His other two European Tour clients, Richie Ramsay and Graeme Storm, have their own targets - they are striving to break into the top 60 of the order of merit in an effort to secure a spot in the lucrative, end-of-season final series - but Henry's plight is more nerve-shredding. "Do I feel the anxiety at this time of year? Of course I do," admitted Rae. "I'm desperate for Scott to keep his card. You try not to show that, obviously, and my job is to keep him focused on the job in hand but inside you're churning a bit."
The pressure will be on this week but Rae is confident that Henry can rise to the occasion. He holed a raking birdie putt on the 72nd hole of last year's Kazakhstan Open to barge his way into a play-off before winning the title and trundled in an eagle putt on the final hole of August's Johnnie Walker Championship to thrust himself into contention for a maiden crown on the main tour.
"Scott thrives on the pressure," added Rae of his powerful, big-hitting pupil who is sixth on the tour's driving distance standings. "He's got a big, powerful game that's suited to the European Tour and the Johnnie Walker showed him that he has what it takes to win out here. Hopefully, he can just get over the finishing line."