Two Scots - Jack McDonald and Clarke Lutton - have earned top-10 cards for the Alps Tour after both players rolled up their sleeves in recovering manfully from sluggish starts at the third-tier circuit’s Qualifying School at La Cala in southern Spain.
Ayrshireman McDonald, who turned professional earlier this year after signing off his amateur career by helping Great Britain & Ireland thump the United States in the Walker Cup at Royal Lytham last September, finished fifth in the 54-hole final. He’d opened with a 75 but catapulted himself up the leaderboard with a second-round 67 before adding a 69 for a four-under-par 211 total on the demanding Asia Course at the venue near Marbella.
“I struggled a bit in round one, but I played really nicely after that and today I played solid and putted great,” said McDonald. “I’m delighted to get my full Alps tour card for 2017 and can’t wait for next year now.”
Lutton, an Aberdonian who recently moved to Spain after living in the Middle East for a number of years, found himself lying joint-99th after a first-round 78. He repaired that potentially damaging effort, though, with subsequent efforts of 67 and 69 to claim the eighth card on one-under.
“I’m happy to have secured a good card,” said Lutton. “The first round is a mystery to me as I had been playing really well leading into the event but to bounce back the way I did is a massive boost. I’ve had a on and off year but to finish so strongly makes me believe I can really challenge next year.”
After finishing bogey-bogey, former British Boys’ champion Ewen Ferguson just missed out on the top-35 spot that was required to secure the best available category but he should still secures starts next season along with Jamie Savage and Craig Sutherland after they also played in the final stage.
Elsewhere, Laura Murray, with a one-under-par 71, is lying joint-25th after the opening round of the LET’s Lalla Aicha Qualifying School final in Morocco. Also playing on the Samanah Course in Marrakech, Heather Stirling and Jane Turner signed for 73 and 76 respectively.
Frenchwoman Celine Boutier leads after a 65 at Amelkis.