Seventh hole on Vale da Pinta Course at Pestana Golf Resorts (pic by Phil Inglis) ()
Seventh hole on Vale da Pinta Course at Pestana Golf Resorts (pic by Phil Inglis) ()

A record number of entrants for Staysure Tour Qualifying School will compete for five cards at Pestana Golf Resort later this month, with 188 golfers signing up for the annual competition.

There will be 154 entrants taking part in the First Stage of Qualifying School, played on the Gramacho and Silves courses at the Algarve Resort, which takes place on January 25-26.

37 golfers will join 35 already exempt for Final Stage, from January 29 – February 1, with the top five receiving a highly coveted card for the 2018 Staysure Tour season.

In 2017, Clark Dennis graduated from Qualifying School and went on to win the John Jacobs Trophy for topping the Order of Merit – becoming the first player to earn a card at Q-School and top the season-long Rankings in the same season.

Brendan McGovern, winner of Qualifying School in 2017, secured his card for the 2018 by finishing inside the top 20 on the Order of Merit.

The year before, Magnus P Atlevi and Gary Marks came through Q-School and both went on to win their first Staysure Tour titles that same season – Atlevi went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award after finishing second on the Order of Merit behind Paul Broadhurst.

Tournament Director Derrick Cooper said: “Qualifying School is always an exciting way to start the season, and we have seen a number of professionals go on to enjoy success on the Tour after coming through what is a testing week.

“A record number of entries ensures that competition will be fierce in Portugal. As we have seen over the years, finishing inside the top five is no easy task.”

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