It was carnage in Catalunya after the day four cut yesterday (Tuesday) and the list of players going home was long and full of incredibly good players. It just shows how tough Q School has become and there are still two more days to decide who gets the 25 Tour Cards!
Among the Brits and Irish who missed the cut were: Bradley Dredge, Nick Dougherty, Scott Drummond, Rhys Davies, Warren Bennett, Simon Thornton, Miles Tunnicliff, Kenny Ferrie and Paul Broadhurst. Add in others like Scott Strange, Peter Uihlein, Jarmo Sandelin, Pablo Martin, Jin Jeong and Anton Haig and you can see that the Spanish torture was brutal.
Rhys Davies was probably the biggest collapse with five dropped shots in his final nine holes to miss by two. He finished with a 78 and this from a young player who was so well thought of in 2010 that he was Monty’s driver in Wales for the Ryder Cup.
Aussie Scott Strange blew it with an 83 – 11 over par for the day – to miss by five while the likes of Dougherty and Tunnicliff (both European Tour winners) couldn’t muster a below par round in four attempts. When you hit the wall at Q School, it can be extremely painful for the ego!
So, while 73 players departed for home, the exact same number remain and still have a chance of a Tour Card, plus all those making the cut get automatic status on the Challenge Tour, by the way.
Those who just scraped in were Gary Boyd (exactly on the cut mark of +2 after a last hole bogey), Oliver Wilson and Sam Hutsby on +1 and Ross McGowan on par.
These guys are some way from the top 25 and ties who get the Tour Cards; that number after four rounds is -4 and the likelihood is, judging from past Final Stages of Q School, that this number won’t change by much. So there are now 36 holes for the likes of Wilson to prove his class.
Whereas, almost guaranteed a Tour Card are those at the very top of the field – Andy Sullivan (late of the Walker Cup) is joint top with Argentina’s Estanislao Goya with Richard McEvoy (of Golf On The Edge 2 fame) and Yorkshire’s John Parry one behind.
Now is the time to wish all 73 the best of luck because they will need it and just one bad bounce could end their dreams of spending 2013 playing for the European Tour riches and, instead, put them back into Challenge Tour grinder.
Ross Biddiscombe is the author of two books – entitled Golf On The Edge – about the European Tour Q School. For details, go to www.golfontheedge.co.uk.