WHEN Callum Macaulay paid his first visit to the final stage of the European Tour Qualifying School in 2008, he was probably wondering what all the fuss was about. A few weeks after helping Scotland record a historic win in the Eisenhower Trophy, the Tulliallan man felt totally nerveless as he passed the gruelling six-round test with flying colours to earn his Tour ticket.
In only his fourth event in the paid ranks, the former Scottish Amateur champion came close to doing a Tom Lewis, storming home in 28 in the final round to finish second, a shot behind winner Tano Goya, in the Madeira Islands Open.
At that point, Macaulay could have been forgiven if he’d started to think he might never have to sit the Qualifying School examination again. Yet it’s become a perennial fixture on his schedule. Today, at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Girona, the Team Scottish Hydro member sets out in the golfing marathon once again, joining eight fellow Scots as they bid to finish in the top 30 to claim one of the coveted cards up for grabs.
“This is my fourth time at the final stage,” said the 28-year-old, third in the stage two event at El Valle a fortnight ago. “The only time I got my card, which was the first time, I didn’t feel any nerves at all. That’s probably because I had nothing to lose.”
Helensburgh veteran Gary Orr, eighth last year, is back for another crack after finishing 159th in this season’s Race to Dubai, while two-time Tour winner Forsyth (133rd) is in the field as well.
Completing the Scottish contingent are Raymond Russell, who just missed out on his card off the Challenge Tour, former PGA champion Scott Drummond, Wallace Booth, Andrew McArthur, Jamie McLeary and George Murray.