It was another week of strong performances on the European Tour by players who spent their 2018 season on the Challenge Tour.
At the Australian PGA Championship, three regulars from the most recent season on Europe’s top developmental circuit finished inside the top ten.
A winner on the European Tour in 2009, Ross McGowan, who made 15 starts on the Challenge Tour in 2018, set a new course record at RACV Royal Pines Resort with his stunning final round of nine under par 63, which moved him 29 places up the leaderboard into a tie for third.
Not far behind was Sean Crocker, who graduated to the European Tour as the Road to Ras Al Khaimah Number 11, and Tom Murray, who finished in the unenviable 16th position on the Rankings, when the season ended. Murray was eclipsed by a mere 604 points for the final promotion to the European Tour by Portuguese Pedro Figueiredo. The bad luck continued at European Tour Qualifying Stage the next week, when he was disqualified for signing for an incorrect scorecard, after opening strongly on seven under par through the first two rounds.
The Englishman has proven his resilience though and, along with American Crocker, strung four solid rounds together down under to finish in a tie for ninth.
Across the Indian Ocean, a mixture of Challenge Tour graduates and those who went on to earn their European Tour cards at Q-School dominated the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita.
Four players, Oliver Bekker, Grant Forrest, Antoine Rozner and Max Schmitt led the way as they all finished in a tie for seventh place on 14 under par. Scotland’s Forrest graduated to the European Tour as the Road to Ras Al Khaimah Number Seven, while 20 year old Schmitt, who hails from Germany, earned his way onto the European Tour through Q-School after his rookie campaign on the Challenge Tour.
Irishman Gavin Moynihan, who made 13 appearances on the Challenge Tour in 2018 before also earning his European Tour card at Q-School, had a strong week in Mauritius and finished just outside the top ten in a tie for 11th.
Road to Ras Al Khaimah Number Three Victor Perez remained red-hot last week, as he matched the low round of the week at Four Seasons Golf Club with his opening-round of eight under 64, which also gave him a share of the lead. The Frenchman finished the week in 14th place, and along with his tied third showing at the season-opening Honma Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi, he now occupies the fifth position on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.