Final Stage of DP World Tour Qualifying School returns for the first time in three years this week as INFINITUM again hosts the finale of the three-stage event. Here’s what you need to know before the action begins on Friday…
Following in the footsteps of greatness
DP World Tour Qualifying School has produced a host of Major Champions, World Number Ones and Ryder Cup stars since the inaugural contest in 1976. Colin Montgomerie, Sandy Lyle, Justin Rose and Miguel Ángel Jiménez are just a few European greats to make it through ‘golf’s toughest test’ before going on to taste glory on the world stage.
Do I know you?
Infinitum, formerly known as Lumine Golf, is home to three golf courses, including two 18-hole layouts: The Lakes Course and the Hills Course, both of which will be in use this week.
The resort, rebranded in 2021, hosted Final Stage from 2017-2019 after it succeeded PGA Catalunya as host venue five years ago. Previously, it was a Second Stage Qualifying venue for Tour hopefuls from 2012-2016. The Qualifying School has not taken place in the last two years due to the effects of Covid-19, but has returned in 2022.
Still going strong…
This week is the pinnacle of Qualifying School, but much has happened prior to this week’s arrival in Tarragona. Last week, at four different venues in Spain, 93 players progressed from Second Stage to earn their spots in this week’s field. South African Pieter Moolman and Sweden’s Joel Sjoholm shared first place at Isla Canera Links, another Swede, Jens Fahrbring, and Englishman Tom Murray finished joint first at Emporda Golf, while Germany’s Philipp Katich finished six shots clear at Desert Springs. Spaniard Ivan Cantero Gutierrez won the event at Las Colinas.
Qualifying School always provides a plethora of storylines, including household names looking to regain their playing privileges and this year is no different. Seasoned DP World Tour winners such as David Horsey, Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fdez-Castano are all in this week’s field, as well as former Ryder Cup players David Howell, Chris Wood and Stephen Gallacher. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, you have the likes of Englishman Sam Bairstow, who made his professional debut at this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship following a stellar amateur career which included making the final of the Amateur Championship.
Springboard for success
Qualifying School is a proven breeding ground for DP World Tour success, and that is shown no more emphatically than by the crop of 2019. Of the 28 players to earn their playing rights, there have been seven wins between five different players; Rasmus Højgaard (3), Sami Välimäki, Marcus Armitage, Johannes Veerman and Jonathan Caldwell (all one each).