A sixth Qualifying School attempt, albeit only his second time at the Finals, eventually brought the reward of a card for the Austrian who finished in 18th place at San Roque after having been second at El Bosque in Stage Two. A keen skier as a youngster, started golf quite late at 14 following a family holiday in Ireland. Girlfriend shares the name of the renowned German tennis star, Steffi Graf, but is famous in her own right as an accomplished athlete. Was second in the 800m in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, 0.39 seconds behind gold medallist Maria Mutola, but ahead of Great Britain’s Kelly Holmes who took bronze. She was also a silver medallist in the World Athletic Championship and held the World Indoor Record for 800m. A lover of the cinema and classical music, Niki was an accomplished pianist in his own right until his late teens when the demands of golf overtook practice time at the keyboard. Stopped playing for two months in 2004 to try and overcome a food allergy problem which had plagued him since childhood and treatment appears to have done the trick. Played the Alps Tour and the Challenge Tour in 2004 and came through all three stages of the Qualifying School. Will join his best friend and fellow Austrian Markus Brier on Tour in 2005. Was best man at Brier’s wedding in 1998.