The Portugal Masters is over which means there’s plenty of emotions running throughout the European Tour members. Some players have sealed their Tour cards, whereas some players will be anxious at the thought of having to re-attend European Tour’s Q-School.
The top 115 players on the European Tour leaderboard will retain their card for the following season whilst it’s back to school for those that don’t if they haven’t won an event in the last two years. Losing your card has to be the worst feeling ever for a professional golfer, almost like having to re-take your driving test. But worse, as it’s your livelihood.
Unfortunately, some of the player’s who have lost their card will surprise you…
These players looked like losing their card but after a good week in Portugal they managed to seal the deal and can now look forward to the 2020 season:
It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for the South African, he found himself fighting back tears for the second time at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course as he secured his 2020 Tour card at the Portugal Masters. He arrived at this event in 2013 having lost his mother just weeks earlier and with the pressure of knowing he needed an exceptional week to keep his card. The South African was faced with a 60 foot putt on the 72nd hole for par and solo second and he made it, prompting an emotional celebration as his place on Tour was secured. Fast forward seven years and Walters arrived in Portugal 121st in the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex after another testing season both on and off the course. Walters was struggling with injury in the summer and then sadly lost his father in August, admitting he struggled to cope in the events afterwards. Talk about Déjà vu.
Singh Brar started the week in Portugal in 117th place in the Race to Dubai Rankings. After finishing T8th alongside Matt Wallace and Andy Sullivan. Singh-Brar managed to move eight places to 109th place on the leaderboard securing his 2020 privilege. It’s been a week of emotions for the Southampton Football Club supporter, who’s team got annihilated 9-0 against Leicester FC. But he didn’t take that to heart as he had a job to do on the course. Singh Brar holed an 8 foot putt on the last at Dom Pedro Victoria Course to keep his card.
There’s playing for your Tour card, then there’s doing it in style. Steven Brown needed a top three finish to obtain his card. The Englishmen didn’t let the pressure get to him and ended up being victorious with his first European Tour win. Brown finished -17-under – one clear of Justin Walters and Brandon Stone, that’s a classy way to end your season.
The next few players have just missed out on obtaining their 2020 privilege:
It’s back to Q-School for one of the most down to earth players on the tour. This will be Slattery’s 10th visit so he’s familiar with this frenetic scenario. Talk about never giving up. Slattery finished 121st in the Race to Dubai, six places behind securing the spot and 21.8 Race to Dubai points shy of going into the 2020 season with full playing privileges.
Dunne finished 124th on the Race to Dubai Rankings. nine spaces and 32.4 points short of keeping his privilege for the 2020 season. Dunne won the 2017 British Masters in Close House, which granted him two years on the European Tour, 2019 being the last year, therefor Dunne had to post some significant scores this year. With only one top 5 result and 12 missed cuts. It’s back to Q-School for the Irishman for the second time.
A few more names include:
- Jamie Donaldson – Ex Ryder Cup player
Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño – 7 time European Tour winner
- Romain Wattel
For those going back to Q-School, they need to prepare for three stages (252 holes) with only 25 cards up for grabs.
European Tour Qualifying School is arguably the toughest test in golf.