Oh, the innocence of youth! Even at the gut-churning Q School, young golfers can either ignore all the tension and shoot the lights out or they can see the positives in the most awful situations.
Young Danny Willett of Yorkshire – so full of confidence he can almost float on air – smashed a fabulous 63 to move into second place at 14 under and Oskar Henningsson of Sweden – another stripling of a twentysomething – came in with a 65 (after two rounds of 66, for goodness sake!) to lead on 17 under.
It was fabulous to watch them stride around PGA Catalunya with all guns blazing and hats off also to Jamie Moul who was in the Walker Cup only last year. He played on the tougher course than the other two young ‘uns and shot a 67 to haul himself back into contention for a Tour Card. He shot from 120th to tied 50th.
The four round cut is now imminent and the top 70 and ties will go through to rounds five and six to battle for the Tour Cards and eligibility for the 2009 European Tour season.
Sill on the outside looking in are some very experienced players: Peter Baker (+4), David Carter (+5), Jean Francois Remesy (+6), Andrew Oldcorn (+10).
There were also some young ‘uns not well-placed including Lloyd Saltman of Scotland who had a 2 shot penalty called on him for an improper drop in a hazard. One triple bogey and three doubles in round three were enough to send him packing, I’m afraid. Nice lad; he’ll be back.
And, in the ‘nice lad’ stakes Chris Wood of Bristol still looks the class act of the field, yet he can’t putt (he is doing OK on 7 under) and Guy Woodman (who features in my Q School book) shot a marvellous 3 under on the difficult Green Course to give himself a fabulous chance of staying in the tournament; he moved to just 2 under with level par probably good enough to reach tied 70.
A cavalry charge is now expected to make the cut; my money’s on some more young ‘uns to come piling through.
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Click on the link for more on Ross’ book Golf On The Edge: Triumphs & Tragedies Of Q School