Thursday, 30 November 2017
Mark Foster and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano celebrate earning their tour cards at the European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage  (Getty Images)
Mark Foster and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano celebrate earning their tour cards at the European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage (Getty Images)

Following the conclusion of Qualifying School earlier this month we have crunched the numbers to bring you the best stats from 2017.  

  • A total of 1026 players took part in the Qualifying School across the three stages. There were 838 who played in Stage One, they were joined by 122 players at Stage Two, with a further 66 exempt to the Final Stage. This year’s group of 1026 entrants is the largest ever in Qualifying School history.
  • A total of 33 players (25 and ties) earned their full European Tour cards for the 2017 season.
  • There were five players who came through all three Stages of the Qualifying School to gain a card this season. They were: Sam Horsfield (winner), Nico Geyger (17th), Henric Sturehed (22nd), Jonathan Thomson (23rd) and Marcel Schneider (28th).
  • Jigger Thomson

  • A total of ten players who competed at First and Second Stage also made the cut at Final Stage this year.
  • Of the 33 qualifiers, there will be 13 rookies in the 2018 Race to Dubai.
  • Of the 33 qualifiers, 11 were fully exempt European Tour members in the 2017 Race to Dubai.
  • The 33 qualifiers came from 14 different countries this year.
  • Here are the countries and the breakdown of players: England (ten), Sweden (four), South Africa (three), two each from Chile, Germany, Spain, Denmark and Italy and one each from New Zealand, Scotland, France, Austria, Thailand and Ireland. 
  • The youngest graduate was Sam Horsfield, aged 21 years and 39 days old. The oldest graduate was Anders Hansen, aged 47 and 61 days old.
  • Anders Hansen made Qualifying School history this season by becoming the oldest player to ever graduate at 47 years and 61 days old, breaking the previous record set by Ricardo Gonzalez who was 47 years and 24 days old when he graduated last season.
  • Anders Hansen

  • Winner Sam Horsfield become only the third player to compete in all three stages and win the Final Stage, following Nathan Kimsey in 2016 and Oskar Henningsson in 2008.
  • Sam Horsfield becomes the sixth English winner of the Qualifying School since 2009, following Simon Khan (2009), Simon Wakefield (2010), David Dixon (2011), John Parry (2012) and Nathan Kimsey (2016)
  • Of the 33 qualifiers, five are European Tour winners: Anders Hansen, Kristoffer Broberg, Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, Mark Foster and Ross McGowan. A total of 30 European Tour winners competed in Qualifying School Final Stage this year.
  • Two former Challenge Tour Number Ones earned cards this year: Mark Foster (2001) and Andrea Pavan (2013).
  • The lowest final round from the 33 graduates came from winner Sam Horsfield, who carded a sublime 63 at the Lakes Course to seal a resounding eight-shot victory.
  • Sam Horsfield

  • Horsfield’s final day 63 was also the joint low round of the tournament, Scotland’s Connor Syme and England’s Tom Murray also carded 63s at Lumine Golf Club’s Lakes and Hills Courses respectively.  
  • After claiming the 23rd card Jonathan Thomson made history by becoming the tallest player to ever qualify for the European Tour.
  • At six foot nine and a half inches tall Thomson will also become the tallest ever European Tour member in 2018.
  • Jigger Thomson

  • Ten players gained a card after starting the day outside the top 25. They were Sebastian Heisele, Felipe Aguilar, Matthias Schwab, Sébastien Gros, Ben Evans, Lorenzo Gagli, Justin Walters, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, James Heath and Marcel Schneider. Just two players began the final day inside the top 25 but failed to gain a card.
  • The biggest mover of the final day was Sebastian Heisele (24 places – 43-19). Last season Heisele put in a similarly impressive last day performance, earning a European Tour card after moving up 34 places from 53rd to 19th.

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