European Tour Q school first stage – The Players Club 11th – 14th Sept
Regarded as one of the toughest challenges in golf ~ a visit to European Tour school to try and claim a tour playing card for the main tour
Since 1976, The European Tour Qualifying School has been held at the end of each season to establish which players, not otherwise exempt, will gain their playing privileges on the Tour for the following season through a qualifying competition.
It’s a tough school for one of golf’s most coveted prizes, namely Membership of The European Tour and a place among the golfing elite.
Along the way, dreams are made and hopes dashed in equal measure.
The Qualifying School is held in three stages – dependent on the individual’s status – at a series of venues in the UK and Continental Europe.
In the region of 1,000 competitors enter the Qualifying School each year, all aiming for a European Tour card, awarded to the top 25 and ties following the Final Stage.
A player progressing through all three stages will have to play 252 holes under the most intense pressure.
The leading 25 players (plus those tied for 25th place) will earn Category 16 Membership of The European Tour for the following season.
At my venue I was up against 100 players to try and claim one of 19 places available just to get me to second stage of qualifying
I teed it up at the Players Club near Bristol I was so excited to play in this event couldn’t wait to get going
and I was off in the last group with an American. One of 11 Americans who had travelled over the event. That’s some travelling.
Course was set up at over 7,300 yards including a par 5 696 yards and three par 4’s at over 500 yards!
Difficult conditions with drizzle rain all day but I played some great golf in the weather and was very pleased after day to come in on +1 (73) to leave me near the top half of the leader board.
and early tee time weather much better today and a real chance to get a score under par.
I played really solid again but just couldn’t get the vital putts to drop and at the end of the day I had shot +4 (76) and was +5 for the tournament going into the 3rd day to make the cut.
and playing the back nine first and I was off to a flyer, after 9 holes I was -1 for the day and this not only put me back into the cut line I now was in one of the second stage qualifying spots
I made par on my next 3 holes and with 6 left to play was in great shape, back to back bogies halted my charge a little but everything was still looking good.
Then a disaster right out of the blue on the par 5, I found my ball up against a tree and had to take an unplayable lie and penalty shot, even worse was after playing my next shot the ball kicked off the fairway and sent my ball out of bounds as I walked off the green I had made a 9 and now just back in the pack and had slipped from the top half.
My putt just lipped out on my 18th hole for another bogey and when finished I had shot +7 (79) and a tournament total of +12
More disappointment quickly followed as I went to the leader board to see the cut line had moved to +11 and my +12 meant that I had missed the cut line by 1 shot!
A tough competition on a tough course but great experience, what it all came down to was 53 holes that saw me qualifying for second stage in Spain, only for 1 bad hole to take that away.
I’m now off to Scotland, Aberdeen for the final EuroPro tournament of the season before my final tournament off the year on the Jamega Tour back at the Players Club!
As always, enjoy your own game. and until next time