Banstead Downs Golf Club’s Ross McGowan is hoping a solid start to 2011 can help him overcome a year to forget last season.

The 27-year-old finished tied in 55th at the Johannesburg Open on Sunday to follow-up an 18th place finished at the Africa Open seven days earlier.

McGowan, who had missed the cut in his previous three tournaments, pocketed £320,000 in prize money last year, but registered only one top ten finish.

He had ended 2009 by securing second-place at the Dubai World Championship and had hoped to qualify for the Ryder Cup before a shoulder injury curtailed his efforts.

But McGowan, who made the half-way cut by a shot at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championships, insists he is again ready for a crack at breaking in to the world’s top 50.

“Since my final event in Singapore I’ve been trying to sort out my shoulder problem, which really made the 2010 season one I’d like to forget,” he said.

“I’ve been working out in the gym regularly and have also been having plenty of physio, which is making it stronger and more flexible.

“I’ve even been practising and playing quite a bit and it is definitely feeling much better than it has done for the past few months.

“2010 was seriously frustrating and disappointing and my injury really hampered my golf, however, I feel really determined to get myself back on track next year and hopefully work my way into the top 50.”