There are two horror days at Q School – day four when half the field goes home after missing the cut and day six when the top 30 and ties receive Tour Cards while everyone else feels like death warmed up because they got so close only to be denied.
So yesterday was day four and, yes, the horror stories were as horrific as ever. But let’s start with the good news first.
Yorkshire’s Danny Willett is the real thing; he has confidence oozing out of every pore and cannot be denied this week. His 2 under par 70 took him into the lead on 16 under while Swedish rival Oskar Henningsson was 2 over and dropped to second.
Other Brits doing well were Chris Wood who moved up to tied 13th with a 71 and Jonathan Caldwell of Northern Ireland who recovered after a very shaky period where he dropped five shots in three holes to finish only 2 over and lie tied 23rd for the event so far.
Best of all was Scotland’s Chris Doak, though, who scored a quite incredible 62 to move from 103rd to 23rd. Chris said he just couldn’t miss the pin and long may it continue.
However, there were also tragedies and none were more shocking than Sweden’s Fredrik Andersson Hed who suffered a near-total collapse, dropping seven shots in his last five holes to miss the cut mark by a single shot. He moved from a place well inside the cut to tied 74th which was one shot too many. I plucked up the courage to ask him what happened, but all he could say was “I just played bad”. Grief like that should really be private, so I let him jog off to his car and head for the airport.
Also out of Q School this year are ex-Ryder Cup star Peter Baker who had four late bogeys to miss by three shots and former Tour champions including Phil Golding, Jean-Francois Remesy, Emanuele Canonica and Patrik Sjoland.
Over the next two days, the 30 Tour Cards – passports to the riches that are on offer on the European Tour – will be decided among the remaining 73 players. There might not be quite so many remarkable comebacks and car-crash-style collapses, but you can certainly expect more laughter and tears.
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Click on the link for more on Ross’ book Golf On The Edge: Triumphs & Tragedies Of Q School