One Yorkshire golfer was celebrating a return to the European Tour last night, but there was heartache for two of his fellow county players.
Daniel Gavins is back on continent’s elite circuit after securing a place in the top 25 after six gruelling rounds of the European Tour’s Qualifying School Final Stage.
Gavins, 27, of Leeds, led the competition after rounds three and four before closing scores of 73 and 71 saw him fall down the leaderboard into a tie for 13th, although it was enough to secure his Tour status by two shots.
He tweeted: “It’s been a tough few years but we’re back on the European Tour.”
Huddersfield’s Chris Hanson was due to join him after five rounds but he shot a 74 at Lumine in Spain yesterday, dropping from a share of 10th into a tie for 37th, two shots outside the mark.
“Tough one to take but will try move on quickly!! Game not solid enough when it matters...” tweeted Hanson, who has spent the last three years on Tour.
He was even passed by Sheffield’s Joe Dean whose final-round 67 saw him climb up to 28th and within a shot of graduating to the top tier.
“Absolutely gutted to fall one shot short of a @EuropeanTour card @ETQSchool but looking forward to a new chapter in my career on the @Challenge_Tour.”
Moortown’s Nick McCarthy closed with a 72 to finished tied 63rd.
Rotherham’s Jonathan Thomson, who won his Tour card via this route last year, will head back to the Challenge Tour after a 72 for an eight-under-par total, eight shots off the pace.
Alejandro Cañizares and Zander Lombard shared the spoils on top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of this year’s Qualifying School Final Stage.
Following six rounds at Lumine Golf Club, South Africa’s Lombard and Spain’s Canizares could not be separated on 24 under par, and as is customary in the case of a tie in the event, the duo were crowned joint winners with no play-off taking place.
On a day of high drama in Tarragona several players made big moves to secure their playing privileges on the European Tour for 2019. South Africa’s Louis de Jager was the first to seal his spot in the top 25 and ties, firing a bogey-free score of 66 to progress from Q-School for the first time in five attempts.
Also making late charges into the European Tour places were Italy’s Filippo Bergamaschi and Chile’s Hugo Leon. Bergamaschi birdied five of his closing eight holes to make the top 25 on the number, while Leon bagged his only birdie of the day on the 18th to also go through on the mark – which was 16 under par.
Three-time European Tour winner Marc Warren bounced back from a bogey on the 17th with a closing birdie to take the 19th card, while Norwegian Kristoffer Reitan – the only amateur to make the cut this year – also squeezed through after a final round of 72.
Former Amateur Champion Scott Gregory, who hit headlines for shooting 92 in the opening round of the U.S. Open five months ago, claimed the 12th card after coming through all three stages of Q-School this year – one of seven players to achieve the feat this season.