Only the top 25 plus ties will get a Tour card for next year. Ross Biddiscombe tells us more...
Four more days of Q School pressure to go
It’s a young man’s game at this year’s Q School. Two days have gone and four more are left in golf’s equivalent of a sporting torture chamber.
The 40th European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage at PGA Catalunya in northern Spain is already fascinating competition. Italian Filippo Bergamaschi and Austrian Lukas Nemecz hold the lead together on a astonishingly low -10, while a potential new Swedish superstar, 19-year-old Marcus Kinhult, is tied 4th just one shot back with Englishman Chris Hanson.
All four are in prime position to make this the most successful six days of their burgeoning pro careers. In fact, Kinhult, who impressed by leading the Nordea Masters in his home country this summer for two rounds, is still an amateur and will only turn pro for certain if he succeeds after Thursday’s final round.
But it’s still very early days to know who exactly will be one of the top 25 and ties to receive a Tour Card, the passport to the European Tour’s millions of Euros in prize money. There could be some dramatic falls, even from those in the top spots including veteran Richard Finch who is tied 7th.
Of the recent ex-Walker Cuppers, Paul Dunne is going well on -3, Ashley Chesters is level par and Jimmy Mullen +1.
In the first two days, everyone has played each of the two courses and the 156-man field will repeat the process over the next two days before the four round cut.
Unfortunately, for some players, the writing is on the wall for a quick exit from Final Stage. Nick Dougherty, now a part-time presenter for Sky Sports, is a rather sad T150 at +8, while Italy’s Eduardo Molinari and another Swede Peter Hedblom are doing a little better at +1 with the cut looking to be -1or better.
Ross Biddiscombe is author of Cruel School: The 40th Anniversary of Golf’s European Tour Q School. This book will be available in hardback and eBook formats from mid-December. For more details, go to www.golfontheedge.co.uk