Wednesday, 08 November 2017
Class of 2017  (Getty Images)
Class of 2017 (Getty Images)

A look at some of the facts and figures surrounding this year’s graduates to the European Tour following the conclusion of the 2017 Road to Oman.

7 – rookies. Seven players graduating have never previously played a season on the European Tour: Tapio Pulkkanen, Clément Sordet, Erik van Rooyen, Aaron Rai, Chase Koepka, Scott Fernandez and Bradley Neil.

9 – different nationalities: three Frenchmen, three Englishmen, two Spaniards, two Swedes and one from each of Scotland, Wales, South Africa, USA and Finland earned European Tour cards for 2018.

21 – Kinhult and Neil are the youngest from this year’s top 15, while Rai, Koepka, Saddier, Fernandez and Sordet are aged 25 or younger.

3 – just three years ago Kinhult and Neil were both representing Europe in the Junior Ryder Cup.

Neil JRC

26 – average age of this year’s graduates – only four are 30 or older.

5 – graduates finished the season in the top 200 in the Official World Golf Ranking: Rai (135), Julien Guerrier (169), van Rooyen (177), Sordet (184) and Pulkkanen (188).

3 – wins by Rai, the most by any player this season – at the Barclays Kenya Open, the Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9 and Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.

Aaron Rai

11 – number of Challenge Tour events played by Rai in 2017 – the fewest by any graduate.

24 – most appearances this season, by Fernandez who only missed three Challenge Tour tournaments this year.

13 – victories on the 2017 Challenge Tour by the graduates, out of 27 tournaments.

Tapio win

6 – nearly half of this year’s graduates earned promotion without winning on the Road to Oman – Kinhult, Koepka, Steven Brown, Saddier, Fernandez and Neil.

3 – most runner-up finishes (Pulkkanen and Saddier)

5 – most top-five finishes (Kinhult, Guerrier, Koepka and Brown)

8 – most top-ten finishes (Evans, Kinhult)

*2 – European Tour winners. Although neither completed a full season on the Challenge Tour, both Matt Wallace and Julian Suri were regular competitors on the Road to Oman. Wallace won the dual-ranking Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort in his third Challenge Tour start of 2017 while Suri had played in eight Challenge Tour events before he triumphed at the Made in Denmark.

Julian Suri

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