Oliver Farr knows a thing or two about graduating to the European Tour, but his most recent promotion may just be his best one yet.
The Welshman recently earned promotion to the European Tour for the third time in the last six seasons, and even more impressively, did so after playing a limited schedule which had him enter the Challenge Tour Grand Final holding the 15th and final graduation spot, effectively with everything to lose.
“I was the target man coming into the Grand Final and played great all week,” he said. “I handled myself really well and was chuffed to play as well as I did under the circumstances.”
In only 14 appearances on the Road to Mallorca, the 31-year-old bettered all but 11 of his fellow Challenge Tour players, notching a win at the Lalla Aïcha Challenge Tour in Morocco and placing inside the top 15 in half of his starts to finish 12th on the Road to Mallorca Rankings.
The reason for the limited number of appearances was a series of off-course highs and lows. Speaking earlier this year, prior to his only missed cut of the season at the KPMG Trophy, in which he still carded rounds of 69-69, Farr elaborated on his reduced schedule.
“We’ve had a few issues at home,” Farr said. “One was a really good issue in that we had our second child at the start of the year, so I missed a lot there, but we’ve also had a few losses more recently so I’ve been trying to support my wife as best I can through a tough time.
“It’s obviously limited my schedule, but I didn’t want to play in the circumstances. It’s a terrible time for my wife’s family and more recently my family, we lost my grandmother as well, so it’s been a really tough time in both sets of families.
“It’s not nice but it probably puts my golf into perspective. It’s not as important as it was a few years ago, especially with two children now. It’s important in the sense that I need it to earn money and pay the mortgage and stuff like that, but they’re more important to me than golf.”
Astoundingly, Farr was able to return to action and showed what he was made of at the Challenge Tour Grand Final, coming up with a tied-sixth place finish with his 2020 season on the line. In the end, he delivered the goods to secure graduation to the European Tour for a third time, after successfully moving up in 2014 and again in 2017.
“My consistency was great all season. I only missed one cut, and I shot two 69s to miss the cut, so I’ve played great,” he said. “I don’t know how many under par I am, but it’s a lot and so I’ve played solid all year.
“There were also a couple of rounds where I finished off strong, and obviously to win in Morocco was key. So there were lots of positives this year and, I played a lot more towards the end of the season so I can take that into next season now.”