It was a week of high drama where 27 players earned their playing privileges for the European Tour’s 2019 season. Here are some of the key storylines from a brilliant week at European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage.
1 – the number of birdies Hugo Leon carded in his final round. The Chilean was one over par going into the very last hole and was outside the top 25 spot by a single shot, but settled his nerves, hitting an approach to four feet and rolling home the birdie putt to secure his card.
5 – the amount of shots gained by Filippo Bergamaschi on the back nine in the final round. Teeing off on the tenth tee, the Italian carded a birdie and a bogey during his opening nine holes but made five gains coming home – including four in a row from the second to the fifth to earn a dream-graduation.
1 – amateur who secured his card. Kristoffer Reitan was the only amateur to make the cut after four rounds and he eventually clinched a European Tour card with a tied 20th finish on 16 under par. The Norwegian showed the kind of determination needed to make it in the professional game after a run of double bogey, bogey, bogey saw him drop out of the graduation places with three to play before a birdie at the 16th moved him back inside the number.
16 – under, the score to par that was required to finish in the top 25 over six rounds.
7 – the number of players who progressed through all three stages of Q-School. Kristoffer Reitan, Kurt Kitayama, Ivan Cantero Gutierrez, Guido Migliozzi, Daniel Gavins, Per Langfors and Scott Gregory all completed every one of the 252 Q-School holes.
92 – shots taken by Scott Gregory in the first round of the 2018 U.S. Open. The Englishman qualified for the Major Championship but endured a disappointing opening round, signing for a score of 22 over par. He has now walked the road to redemption by securing a card for the 2019 European Tour season.
24 – under par, the winning total at Q-School. Alejandro Cañizares and Zander Lombard shared first prize, but Cañizares will take the highest ranking into the 2019 season after carding a lower final round.
0 – the number of shots gained by David Borda over the final four rounds. The Spaniard led after Day Two with a 16 under par total, which is where he finished the tournament. Rounds of 72-70-72 left him fighting for his card on the final day. He secured it with a birdie on the 108th hole after three-putting the 17th to momentarily drop out of the graduation spots.
20 – years old, the age of the youngest graduate, Max Schmitt. The German will play on the European Tour next year after finishing on 16 under par. Kristoffer Reitan and Ivan Cantero Gutierrez are also 20 years old, just months older than Schmitt.
37 – years old. The age of Marc Warren, the oldest player to earn his card. The Scot birdied the 108th hole to finish inside the graduation spots.
16 – European Tour rookies. The following players will all hold full European Tour status for the first time: Filippo Bergamaschi, David Borda, Ivan Cantero Gutierrez, Nick Cullen, Scott Gregory, Louis de Jager, Max Schmitt, Kristian Krogh Johannessen, Kurt Kitayama, Niklas Lemke, Masahiro Kawamura, Guido Migliozzi, Per Langfors, Deyen Lawson, Kristoffer Reitan and Hugo Leon.
3 – graduates from three different countries. Sweden (Niklas Lemke, Anton Karlsson and Per Langfors), England (Scott Gregory, Ben Evans and Daniel Gavins) and Spain (Alejandro Canizares, Ivan Cantero Gutierrez and David Borda) are the best represented nations of those with graduates.
16 – different countries represented by the 2018 graduates. Chile, Ireland, Norway, Spain, South Africa, Denmark, USA, France, Sweden, Germany, Japan, England, Australia, Italy and Scotland are all represented.