SURFING: The world title door has been left slightly ajar and Julian Wilson will do everything he can to squeeze through it at the season-ending event.
The Peregian Beach 29-year-old leaves for Hawaii on Friday intent on winning the Pipe Masters, which is scheduled to start next week.
The world number four will need to win and have other results go his way there to claim a breakthrough Championship Tour crown.
But such is his determination he may only need a chance, no matter how small it is.
"I've still got a shot at the title which is really important coming into Pipe and that's all I need to be really fired up," he said.
Wilson said wild-card entrants could pose some problems in the opening round, to the leading trio of John John Florence, Gabriel Medina and Jordy Smith.
"So there's still an opportunity and I'll see how the cards fall."
"All I can really do is go over there..and focus my energy on my performance. I need to win the event and that's my whole focus."
Wilson kept his slim world title hopes alive with a runner-up result at the 10th and penultimate stop in Portugal in October.
"I have put myself into a position to have a chance at the world title and I feel like I've got a lot of momentum to be carrying into the (last) event and I'll try and charge through the contest," he said.
Wilson has opted for a low-key lead-up to the season-ender, staying on the Sunshine Coast instead of tackling some prized Qualifying Series events in Hawaii.
"It feels nice to just be focusing on Pipe and not on the Triple Crown so I feel like I'll be sharp and motivated for the event," he said.
And Wilson has history at Pipeline.
He won the tour's feature event in 2014, beating Medina in the decider.
"It definitely helps, knowing that I've done really well there before," he said.
Wilson is enjoying his best season on tour.
He started competing on the big stage in 2011 with his best season-ending rankings accrued in 2013 and 2015, when he finished in sixth place.
Wilson has enjoyed time at home with his wife Ashley. They're expecting their first child in March.
See Saturday's edition of the Daily for more.