Ross Biddiscombe talks us through the latest developments at Q School...
Q School Final Stage – halfway in or halfway out?
Day three of the 40th European Tour Qualifying School continued to sort out the heroes from the hopeless on another gloriously sunny day in Catalunya.
The young guns were still firing. Austria’s Lukas Nemecz is now joint leader alongside the incredibly impressive 19-year-old Swede Marcus Kinhult.
I watched the two men come to the finish of their 3rd rounds on Monday and both looked cool, despite the traditional Q School pressure, but it was the Swede who seemed to shine brightest. With his mum watching, this lad is such a talent and his fabulous approach on his last hole to within 12ft of a “sucker pin” near a deep front bunker was stunning.
To play aggressively at Q School is difficult and not all the clear-minded young hopefuls of European golf can do it successfully all the time. For example, England’s Walker Cup player Jimmy Mullen is now struggling on +4 and amateur teammate Ashley Chesters is +2, although Irishman Paul Dunne is steady on -3 which is right on the cut mark.
Of the scarred veterans, hats off to Soren Hansen for a 67 on day three to claw his way back to -3 and Kenneth Ferrie for a 64 to climb -9. Even better is Ross McGowan of England whose 64 shot him to -10 and in contention for the title.
But winning this week at Q School is not the ultimate prize here – it’s winning ‘tomorrow’ on the European Tour with one of the 25 Tour Cards that will count.
Meanwhile, among those ready for the taxi to the airport are Nick Dougherty (+11) and Johan Edfors (+10), while the man to watch most closely on day four will be 2010 Ryder Cup hero Eduardo Molinari, who is on level par and needs a stunner to creep into the last 36 holes.
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