What a very hard school is the qualification to get on the European Tour. First of all there is a four round preliminary stage with about 700 entrants who are whittled down to about 300. Thereafter they all play so that a field of about eighty can get through to a final, 6 round qualifying stage in Portugal. Twenty five and those tied get a full tour card. This will cost you one and a half thousand quid to enter.
I shall not be getting my cheque book out. Notwithstanding that I’m not playing off scratch and not willing to forgo my amateur status for the chance.
So I watched the final scores come in yesterday and it was looking like 13 under was going to make it. I noticed that the genial Frenchman, Julien Quesne who I had met at the Dunhill, was 14 under with six holes to play. ‘Was’ is very much the operative word here as poor Julien went bogey, bogey, double bogey! This coincided with me following him on twitter and I dearly hope there was no causal link at play?! As I’m the kiss of death to most people. But poor Julien. All that hard work and excellent golf undone over a few holes. What a cruel game.
My old school pal, David Thomson. qualified years back and hit the road. Unfortunately he hardly made a cut, lost about seventy grand and his wife divorced him into the bargain. Luckily though for him, he bagged one of the best club jobs in the world at Skibo Castle and is still there now by all accounts, teaching the likes of Catherine Zeta-Jones and altogether lording it up. Mind you he did have the gift of the blarney.
I will add that Dave did have a very nice word to say about Sam Torrance though. He was on the practice area at his first ever tour event and feeling a bit green, when the seasoned Sam came up to him and welcomed him to the tour. That was lovely. Well done Sam.