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Pestana Gramacho - 10th Hole ()
Pestana Gramacho - 10th Hole ()

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  • Pestana Gramacho - 10th Hole
A record total of 170 hopefuls arrive in Portugal’s Algarve this week for the First Stage of the European Senior Tour’s Qualifying School with the ultimate aim of earning a card for the 2014 season.

The first stage will take place over three splendid Pestana Resorts courses, Vila Sol, Gramacho and Silves, as the players battle it out over 36 holes for the chance to join the 22 exempt players for the Final Stage.

In the wake of Paul Wesselingh’s marvellous John Jacobs Trophy triumph in 2013, a record number of entrants will make this year’s Qualifying School one of the most fiercely contested in the history of the Senior Tour as they attempt to follow in the footsteps of the inspirational Englishman.

Wesselingh came through the Qualifying School in 2012 before winning the Rookie of the Year award in his first season on the Senior Tour, and then followed  that with an incredible 2013 season in which he won four times and finished top of the Order of Merit.

One of last year’s great success stories was Simon P Brown, who finished second behind David James at the 2013 Qualifying School Final Stage, before enjoying a superb rookie season during which he beat Scottish legend Colin Montgomerie, among others, to the Russian Open Golf Championship (Senior), added a second title at the Dutch Senior Open and finished third in the Order of Merit.

Those who make it through the 36-hole First Stage will then have to negotiate a four-round battle over Pestana Golf Resorts’ Pinta Course, where six cards are on offer for the 2014 season, while those who finish seventh to 14th will receive conditional cards for the forthcoming campaign.

This year’s Senior Tour Qualifying School will be the 21st edition and the 13th consecutive staging of the event at Pestana Resort.

The resort, nestled upon Portugal’s idyllic Algarve coast, has become hugely popular with players for its pristinely maintained courses and luxurious accommodation and it will once again provide a spectacular backdrop as this year’s hopefuls chase the Senior Tour dream.


 

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