European Tour Q-School – 2016 Final Stage Preview

10th November 2016

The Final Stage of the European Tour’s Qualifying School series starts on Saturday 12th November at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Girona. It is the 9th consecutive year that this Spanish Club in the north east of the country has hosted the final Q-School competition.

Q-School Format

The Final Qualifying Stage is played over 108 holes on the Stadium and Tour Courses. The Stadium Course (7,333 yards, par 72) is much tougher than the shorter Tour Course (6,610 yards, par 70).

A field of 156 golfers start out by playing 72 holes; two rounds on each of the above courses. The leading 70 players (and ties) then play a final 36-holes on the Stadium Course to determine the final positions.

Prizes

At the conclusion of play on Thursday 17th November the leading 25 players (and ties) will earn cards on both the European Tour (Category 16) and the Challenge Tour (Category 5) for the 2017 season. Additionally within these Categories each player is ranked according to their final finishing position.

Those players who make the 72-hole cut but fail to finish in the Top 25 are eligible for Category 21 membership of the European Tour and Category 9 membership of the Challenge Tour. Those who fail to make the cut are eligible for Category 15 membership of the Challenge Tour.

Whilst of secondary importance there is also a €150,000 prize fund for the Final Qualifying Stage. The winner will receive €16,000. Successful Card receiving players will earn declining sums down to 25th place (or tied for 25th) where €1,860 will be awarded. Players who finish outside the Top 25 but who make the 72-hole cut will each earn €750.

2016 Final Qualifying Stage – Field and Tee Times

71 qualifiers from last week’s four Second Stage events have been joined by 85 exempt players to make up the field of 156 players.

The players that automatically qualify for Final Stage are: –
1. Players already eligible for Category 17 or 18 membership of the European Tour in 2017 (i.e. those finishing in positions 112-145 in the 2016 Race To Dubai);
2. Players finishing in positions 16-45 in the 2016 Challenge Tour Rankings;
3. Winners of a European Tour Order of Merit (OoM) event after 1st January 2007;
4. The winner of the 2016 Qualifying School;
5. The winner of the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2015;
6. European Tour Members in 41st – 75th positions in the Tour’s Career Money List as at 31st August 2016; and
7. The leading three entrants as at 31st August 2016 up to 15th place on The Asian Tour, The Japan Golf Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia (2015 OoM) and The Sunshine Tour (2015 OoM).

The 2016 Q-School field looks to be one of the strongest ever assembled. Y.E. Yang the 2009 US PGA Champion and 35 other European Tour winners, including 6-time winner Alvaro Quiros, are all competing.

Click here to view the 2016 Final Qualifying Stage Round 1 & 2 Tee Times

With no amateurs making the Final Stage this year I will be following the progress of the 52 Great British & Irish (GB&I) professionals who will be competing; exactly 33.3% of the field. Of particular interest to me will be some of the newer pros: –

James ALLAN (ENG)
Ashley CHESTERS (ENG)
Ryan EVANS (ENG)
Grant FORREST (SCO)
Gary HURLEY (ENG)
Nathan KIMSEY (ENG)
Tom LEWIS (ENG)
Bradley NEIL (SCO)
Max ORRIN (ENG)
Eddie PEPPERELL (ENG)
Kevin PHELAN (IRE)
Garrick PORTEOUS (ENG)
Ben STOW (ENG)

2016 Final Qualifying Stage – Leaderboard

Click here to view the 2016 Final Qualifying School Leaderboard

European Tour QS

Appendix 1 – 2016 Qualifying School Articles

For further background information on the 2016 European Tour Q-School series please take a look at my other recent articles: –

European Tour Q-School – 2016 Second Stage Results (07/11/16)
European Tour Q-School – 2016 Second Stage Preview (14/10/16 & 03/11/16)
European Tour Q-School – 2016 First Stage Results (07/10/16)
European Tour Q-School – 2016 First Stage Preview (11/09/16)

Appendix 2 – 2015 Final Qualifying Stage Results

It is always interesting to look back to see what will broadly be required to progress this year.

Last year 27 players earned European Tour cards. The minimum score required to achieve this was -7 (421). The winning score was -18 (410) which was achieved by Ulrich VAN DEN BERG (RSA), Adrian OTAEGUI (ESP) and Daniel IM (USA). Van Den Berg (40) won the event on a count back. He was the oldest ever winner of the Q-School and was the oldest 2015 qualifier.

Marcus KINHULT (SWE) -10 T13 became the first amateur to graduate since Moritz LAMBERT in 2012. At 19 he was also the youngest 2015 qualifier.

12 GB&I players progressed – 10 from England, 1 from Ireland and 1 from Wales. Interestingly the average age of the 12 GB&I qualifiers was 30. Here they are: –

T4    Ross MCGOWAN (ENG) 69 69 64 73 64 74 (-15)
6th   Matthew SOUTHGATE (ENG) 72 66 68 70 68 70 (-14)
T7    Daniel GAVINS (ENG) 71 65 66 68 75 71 (-12)
T9    David DIXON (ENG) 72 68 64 71 74 68 (-11)
T9    Richard MCEVOY (ENG) 66 74 69 71 68 69 (-11)
T13  Stuart MANLEY (WAL) 66 74 69 74 69 66 (-10)
T13  James ROBINSON (ENG) 72 69 64 71 72 70 (-10)
T13  Paul DUNNE (IRE) 71 68 70 68 69 72 (-10)
T19  Ryan EVANS (ENG) 67 72 70 73 69 68 (-9)
T19  Laurie CANTER (ENG) 67 69 68 74 68 73 (-9)
T22  Richard FINCH (ENG) 69 66 70 73 71 71 (-8)
T24  Chris HANSON (ENG) 70 63 66 71 73 78 (-7)

A total of 78 players made the cut on -1 (283) or better. The following GB&I players made the cut but finished outside the all important Top 25: –

T28  Gary KING (ENG) 64 72 64 74 74 74 (-6)
T32  David LAW (SCO) 67 72 68 72 72 72 (-5)
T32  Kenneth FERRIE (ENG) 70 69 64 77 74 69 (-5)
T40  Joshua WHITE (ENG) 68 74 73 67 69 73 (-4)
T40  Mark FOSTER (ENG) 71 68 67 73 73 72 (-4)
T40  Peter WHITEFORD (SCO) 74 70 67 68 75 70 (-4)
T47  Paul SHIELDS (SCO) 67 70 68 77 70 73 (-3)
T54  Josh LOUGHREY (ENG) 72 72 69 69 68 76 (-2)
T54  Damien MCGRANE (IRE) 71 68 66 71 72 78 (-2)
T60  Simon THORNTON (IRE) 71 67 73 71 74 71 (-1)
T67  Kevin PHELAN (IRE) 70 72 66 73 75 72 (E)
T67  Paul HOWARD (ENG) 73 67 68 75 76 69 (E)
T69  Charlie FORD (ENG) 71 71 73 67 72 75 (+1)
T69  Matthew NIXON (ENG) 72 76 68 67 72 74 (+1)

Click here to review the full 2015 Final Qualifying Stage Results  

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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