David Drysdale 'relieved' to hang on to European Tour card for 18th season in a row

David Drysdale joked that he was happy to “still be an old Jock on tour” after surviving a nerve-wracking weekend to keep a full European Tour card for the 18th consecutive season.

David Drysdale was feeling both relieved and happy after securing the final card spot in the 2021 Race to Dubai Rankings on the European Tour. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.
David Drysdale was feeling both relieved and happy after securing the final card spot in the 2021 Race to Dubai Rankings on the European Tour. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.

The 46-year-old admitted he felt “relieved” to stay in 121st spot, which was the cut-off mark for cards in this season’s Race to Dubai, after first coming under threat from Englishman Ashley Chesters then Dane Thorbjorn Olesen in the final regular event of the 2021 campaign.

Left in the horrible position of his fate being taken out of his own hands after missing the cut in the AVIV Dubai Championship, Drysdale lived to fight another year despite Chesters and Olesen both signing off with six-under 66s.

Chesters, who had jumped above Drysdale in the projected standings at the halfway point on the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, moved up two spots to 124th in the end, with a leap of six places taking Olesen to 129th.

“Twice I had finished one spot outside the card cut-off - in 2005 and 2006 - and I’m glad it’s not a hat-trick,” said Drysdale from Dubai, where he had always planned to stay on in preparation for the start of the new campaign in South Africa the week after next.

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“It was quite a weird weekend, really, after the four guys who had been right behind me in the standings - Benjamin Hebert, Ross Fisher, Scott Hend and Renato Paratore - also missed the cut.

“Ashley Chesters then became the guy I had to worry about and I think he needed a top-15 finish to climb above me. He had a good go at it today.

“I wasn’t really thinking about anyone other than him then late on, it was a case of ‘oh s***, Thorbjorn Olesen has a chance here’ as he went from eighth to fifth all of a sudden as some guys started making a mess of it.

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“In the end, nothing changed, nobody moved in and nobody moved out, which is quite unique. But it’s onwards and upwards. We’ve still got an old Jock on tour and I might have a wee glass tonight (laughing).”

Drysdale joined Bob MacIntyre, Calum Hill, Grant Forrest, Richie Ramsay, David Law, Connor Syme, Scott Jamieson and Marc Warren in securing full playing privileges for next season, with Stephen Gallacher, who ended up 130th, also in that position through having an exemption from his 2019 Hero Indian Open win.

“I’m definitely relieved, especially as the tour looks as though it is going to go from strength to strength as the DP World Tour,” added Drysdale of the circuit being rebranded for 2022 and set to boast a record prize fund of more than $200 million.

“Having full status for next year means I will have a chance of playing in the Rolex Series events. I didn’t understand the safety net that they’ve put in place, but, even if I was first on that list, it meant I was probably going to miss out on six or eight big tournaments.

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“I’m delighted how things have panned out for me in the end, but I need to sort out having disappointing weekends like I had at Wentworth and Valderrama - also in the Dunhill Links - because I shouldn’t have been in this position and don’t want to be in this position again.”

Won by Dane Joachim B Hansen, Scott Jamieson finished as the top Scot in Dubai, signing off his season with a bogey-free 66 to secure a tie for 13th spot.

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