Ross Biddiscombe gives us the latest from PGA Catalunya...
Q School Final Stage update
Q School is so often about horrific golfing disasters. There are, though, also plenty of feel-good stories and today’s was about Ross McGowan, the English talent who seemed to have disappeared for good, but who is now leading here at PGA Catalunya after day five.
Ross was one of the world’s top amateurs when I met him almost 10 years ago at the School and he was destined for greatness. He had the swing, the temperament and the game – he won very early on in his professional career on Challenge Tour in 2007 and then had a most marvelous third year as a pro in 2009 on the full European Tour.
He won for the first time and finished second to Lee Westwood in the Dubai World Championship (yes, the same one taking place this week without him), but a wrist injury curtailed his run and scuppered an anticipated Ryder Cup place.
From there it’s been a long road back, but this week at Q School Final Stage the boy from Basildon seems to have recovered his old swagger. With manager Ally and caddie Matt, Team McGowan is on track for one of the 25 Tour Cards that will be handed out tomorrow. His 64 today was the best score on the tough Stadium Course all week by two shots and included an outrageous par save with a second shot straight off a cart path on the 17th.
He’s tied for the lead on -17 with American Daniel Im, while yesterday’s leader Daniel Gavins slipped down to tied 9th with a +3 75. Ireland’s Paul Dunne and Swedish amateur Marcus Hinault are in decent shape on -10 which is three shots inside the mark for a card.
On the negative side, spare a thought for some early tournament leaders: Lukas Nemecz of Austria is now outside the Tour Card positions tied 31st, while Filippo Bergomaschi of Italy is tied 48th.
Today, it will be all about the bubble – those around -7 who will be fighting for the very last Tour Cards. England’s Richard Finch and David Dixon are among those on that nervy score right now.
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