DP World Tour Q-School final: Marc Warren leads seven Scots into battle in Tarragona
The six-round test at Infinitum Golf in Tarragona is not for the faint of heart as a mix of hungry starry-eyed youngsters and weary battle-hardened campaigners fight it out to secure prized main tour cards by finishing in the top 25 and ties.
For Warren, who narrowly missed out on retaining his seat at the top table by finishing 121st in this season’s Race to Dubai, it’s a first visit to the Qualifying School since 2018 and he’ll be hoping for the same outcome after successfully coming through the marathon test on that occasion in 19th spot. He then lost his full playing privileges at the end of the following season before securing an exemption for winning the 2020 Austrian Open as it became the first event to be held on the circuit after the Covid pandemic lockdown. The 42-year-old probably won’t be relishing the fact he’s found himself in the annual card scrap again, but, at the same time, will have been heartened by some encouraging scores towards the end of the season, including a 64 at Kingsbarns in the final round of the rain-curtailed Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Joining Warren in flying the Saltire over the Hills and Lakes Courses at a venue on the Costa Daurada in north-eastern Spain are Craig Howie, Daniel Young, Callum McNeill, Calum Fyfe, Ryan Lumsden and Oliver Roberts. Howie, who came up short in the card battle in last week’s Challenge Tour Grand Final in Mallorca, finished 30th in a main tour event here early last year before returning to try and win his card back 12 months’ ago only to end up disappointed. “I’ve played here quite a few times now, so it’s been more about familiarising myself with the courses rather than going deep into course prep,” said the Peebles man, who is pleased to have been joined in Spain by his girlfriend Kerry. “Looks like we are going to get a good bit of wind again to start the tournament, which should make things interesting. Courses are playing soft and greens are pure, so low scoring is likely when the wind calms down later on in the week.”
Like Howie, Young also faced this test at the same venue in 2019, when successfully making the four-round cut meant he secured a status for the Challenge Tour. “It’s nice to have had some good memories from 2019 to come back to round these golf courses,” admitted the Perth man, who passed a second-stage test at Desert Springs in Almeria earlier in the week. “I don’t particularly think my expectations change for this week over any other week. I’m here to compete and try and win the golf tournament, as I’m sure all 156 players are. My game is in good shape having navigated through last week, so I feel good about that.”
Fyfe and Roberts, both Tartan Pro Tour winners, will be feeling likewise, as will former amateur star Lumsden and McNeill, who is mentored by 2004 US Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton.
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