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Scots scour world in search of season-ending jackpot that will buy them a seat at top table

It's that time of the year again when everybody seems to be looking for that one big result.

Just ask Craig Levein. Scotland's footballers may have failed in Brussels on Tuesday night but a selection of Scotland's golfers are hoping to find the equivalent of the £2 coin down the back of the couch this week. In America, Australia and Denmark, a tartan army is on the march, and they are all striving to hit the jackpot.

Over in the USA, crunch time has arrived for Inverness exile Russell Knox as he battles to stay afloat on the choppy waters of the PGA Tour.

Knox has experienced fluctuating fortunes during a testing rookie campaign at the top table, but even in the midst of a succession of missed cuts the 27-year-old refused to be downbeat.

"It's been the best year of my life," admitted Knox, who departed from six of his first seven events at the halfway stage. But as the schedule on the other side of the Atlantic begins to wind down, the Jacksonville University graduate has shown signs that he is gearing up for a last-ditch push for the line. With only the leading 125 players on the money list safeguarding their Tour cards, Knox is currently in 157th place, but his efforts over the past fortnight will have given him plenty of fuel for a late rally.

A share of 13th place in the exhaustingly titled Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open in Las Vegas was followed by a season-best tie for ninth in the Frys.com Open at CordeValle in California on Sunday. From those two events, Knox has racked up earnings of $212,500, almost $50,000 more than he had cobbled together from his 19 previous tournaments. It's been a profitable little burst but he needs another big fling in The McGladrey Classic, which gets under way today in Georgia.

"I look at it this way: I've not done as well as I would have liked, but the odds of playing better as the year went on have increased," said Knox. "I knew I wasn't going to play awful all year. I mean, every week you get that little bit more comfortable with everything, my clubs and my swing, and I feel ready to go."

Knox earned promotion to the PGA circuit through the second-tier Nationwide Tour rankings at the end of last season. He doesn't have to look too far for inspiration as he tries to ensure that his encounter with the main tour is not a brief one. Knox's fellow rookie, Sweden's Jonas Blixt, notched his maiden victory among the big boys at CordeValle.

"The Nationwide Tour is not so far removed from the PGA Tour," added Knox, who won the Chiquita Classic on the developmental circuit last summer. "Winning on it is hard. In fact, I'd say the depth is almost as good."

While Knox battles for survival in the US, Craig Lee, Alastair Forsyth and George Murray will be aiming to clamber upwards Down Under. The toiling triumvirate, who are all hovering outside the safety zone of the leading 115 on the European Tour's order of merit, have made the expensive hike to Australia for the Perth International in search of that season-changing result.

"It looks like I will have to win €50,000 between now and the end of the season; it's a big ask," admitted Forsyth, as he underlined the size of the task ahead.

Scott Jamieson, the fourth Scot in the field this week, also has plenty to play for at the other end of the order. At 60th on the money list, he currently occupies the final qualifying spot for next month's cash-laden Dubai World Championship and he will be keeping an eye on those lurking menacingly behind him.

Down on the second-tier Challenge Tour, Andrew McArthur, Callum Macaulay and Lloyd Saltman launch their assaults in the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Challenge. The leading 45 on the rankings after this weekend's event will head for the Grand Final in Italy, where the 20 promotion places to the European Tour will be decided. Scott Henry, Chris Doak and Raymond Russell are already booked up for the Italian trip, but McArthur (43rd), Macaulay (54th) and Saltman (56th) still have work to do.

For all the Scots in action around the globe, it's a week for pulling a big result out of the hat.

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