Canberra golfer Matt Millar. Photo: Richard Briggs
Matt Millar will use the confidence gained from his first top-10 finish at a major tournament this year to launch his bid to win a spot on the lucrative Japan tour next week.
Millar finished at one under par and in a tie for 10th at the Australian Masters on Sunday despite battling a bad back for four days which required treatment every night.
Adam Scott was the winner, 16 shots clear of Canberra's Millar, while Chris Campbell struggled through the last round to tie for 20th at one over par.
Millar will rest his troublesome back this week in preparation for the last round of the Japanese qualifying school and will leave Canberra on Sunday.
The 36-year-old is aiming to finish in the top 30 in Japan to ensure he gains entry to the good tournaments next year.
But his busy schedule could force him to miss the Australian Open - which begins on December 6 - with his flight home expected to be either the day before the tournament starts or early on the morning of the opening round.
''It's always good to get a good result and I'm playing well enough to keep going,'' Millar said.
''I was due to play in a pro-am on Friday in Sydney but I don't think that will happen now because of the back, I'll have a week off.
''You always want to play in the Australian Open, it's one of the biggest tournaments we've got.
''At best I'll land on Wednesday or Thursday morning and then play in the afternoon, so I'll see how I go.''
Millar was left ruing a horror front nine in his third round which crippled any hopes he had of rising higher up the leaderboard.
He shot four bogeys and a double bogey to fall behind the leaders and be battling to hang on to his top-10 place.
But while others crumbled around him, Millar held his nerve on the final day to shoot a bogey-free round with one birdie to keep him in the top 10.
Campbell started the day poised to make a charge into the top five, but his good form from the third round disappeared.
He ended with a six-over par final round - which included a double bogey, five bogeys and one birdie - to drop to 20th.
''I came here with a goal to finish in the top 10 and with all that's gone on this week it's not a bad effort,'' Millar said.
''Take out that front nine of the third round and you're probably [in] fourth or fifth, but I'm not going to dwell on that at all.''