The tension has eased and after a nervous three weeks the qualifiers for the European Tour have finally been decided. The final round of Tour School was completed at San Roque and saw Carlos Rodiles of Spain and Brazil?s Alexandre Rocha share the title while the top thirty will be equally delighted to have gained their playing privileges for next year.
Conditions meant that low scoring was rare throughout the week and the San Roque Old Course proved a tough task under the immense pressure of Tour School. Rocha and Rodiles shot 71 and 69 respectively in the final round to finish 5 ahead of the field in the 6 round final qualifier. David Drysdale qualified on 10 under after losing his card by one place for the second year running.
Other noticeable qualifiers include Oliver Fisher, who at 18 years and 64 days becomes the third youngest player to emerge from Qualifying School. American Notah Begay III also qualified despite a final-round 76. He has struggled with injuries since his four wins on the PGA Tour in 1999/2000.
?I am very proud to have come out on top,? said Rodiles. ?There were 156 great players here this week and to win the tournament from a field of that quality is a very great achievement. I have finished second three times on The European Tour and hopefully, now I have my card back, I can go one better somewhere next season.?
In contrast to the elated qualifiers there were many who will be desperately disappointed. Former winners on the European Tour Peter Baker and Andrew Oldcorn failed to regain their cards after disappointing weeks. Oldcorn has struggled on Tour since his maiden victory in the 2001 PGA Championship gave him a 5 year Tour exemption.