30 Jun 2018

Porsche European Open – Tale of the underdog

By Scott Grayston

There have been plenty of talking points for golf fanatics after the Porsche European Open concluded in Hamburg. Jordan Smith secured his first European Tour victory in this event last year and there were even more fairytale endings this time around. These four key underdog successes below will bring a smile to any sport fan’s face and will give hope to all golfers waiting for their break on the big stage.


Richard McEvoy’s maiden victory

Richard McEvoy

Richard McEvoy held off the challenge of Major champions and multiple-Tour winners to birdie the last hole and win an emotional first European Tour title at the 285th attempt. The 39 year old Englishman is a European Tour journeyman that’s had a dozen visits to Q-School and has bounced between the Challenge Tour and European Tour for years. It was only the week before this event that he was competing on the Challenge Tour when he lifted Le Vandreuil Golf Challenge trophy after shooting 18-under in France which spurred him on to compete in this event. McEvoy presumed his lack of distance would mean this tournament was a struggle to compete in but it turns out he couldn’t be more wrong. After this remarkable victory, McEvoy’s European Tour playing-privileges are now secured for the next two seasons which will be a huge weight off his shoulders and he’ll be delighted with his winner’s cheque for 333,000 euros – the biggest payday of his career.

 


Silent Assassin  

Allen John

Allen John isn’t your average golfer. He only had five percent of his natural hearing so has relied on hearing aids since he was 2. In 2017, John competed in the Deaflympics, an elite IOC-sanctioned event for deaf athletes, earning the gold medal. The German was invited to play in this event by sponsors and couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. The 30-year old amateur shot a closing 67 to grab a share of second place at 10-under par, one back of McEvoy, and ahead of the likes of Paul Casey, Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau. John made birdies on four of his final eight holes and only a birdie by McEvoy on the final hole prevented him from getting into a play-off for the title. John had to forge a cheque for 170,000 euros after the event due to being an amateur – the only bitter point of what was an unforgettable week for John which could spur him on to have another crack at playing as a professional after competing on the Challenge Tour for a short stint in 2012.

 

 


Schwab satisfaction

Matthias Schwab

Matthias Schwab only turned professional in 2017 and has experienced a quick ascent up the rankings which was highlighted in this week’s Porsche European Open where he finished tied-seventh to earn 65,000 euros. This has catapulted the 24 year old up to 81st in the Race to Dubai leaving him with a fantastic opportunity of securing his playing rights for next season’s European Tour by finishing in the top 110. The Austrian, who also finished tied-fourth at the Hero Indian Open earlier this year, qualified to the European Tour last season after finishing inside the top 25 at Q-School after a maiden campaign in the Challenge Tour where he finished 33rd. Fast forward a year, he has made 12 cuts out of 16 on the European Tour and looks to have a bright future in the sport.

 


Blooming Blomstrand

Christofer Blomstrand

Christofer Blomstrand was another golfer which secured the heftiest pay cheque of his career when he cashed in 173,710 euros after finishing tied-11th. It’s obscene what kind of effect a result like this can make to a young golfer’s career. This is the Swede’s first full season on the European Tour after securing a card through Q-School like Schwab, and has been struggling thus far, only making four cuts out from 15 until he shot 10-under in Germany. This helped him propel from 201st in the Race to Dubai to 107th so the 27 year old now has a brilliant opportunity of keeping his Tour card if he can maintain this form over the next few months.

 

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