Euan McIntosh back in pro ranks after securing Staysure Tour card

Euan McIntosh, the 2018 Scottish Amateur champion, is back in the professional ranks after securing a full card for this season's Staysure Tour.

Euan McIntosh, far left, celebrates with fellow Staysure Tour card winners Andrew Raitt, Michael Long, David Morland IV and Carl Suneson
Euan McIntosh, far left, celebrates with fellow Staysure Tour card winners Andrew Raitt, Michael Long, David Morland IV and Carl Suneson

It was mission accomplished for the Turnhouse player as he finished joint-second in the senior circuit's Qualifying School final at Pestana Golf Resort in Portugal.

McIntosh, who returned to the amateur ranks specifically to get his game sharpened up for a crack in the over-50s' game, rounded off a polished performance with a closing 67 for a 12-under-par 272 total.

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“The strange thing is, I’m sad in a way to be leaving the amateur ranks," he admitted. I’ve got a lot of friends, because I play for Scotland, and now I’m not going to be doing that ever again. It’s great, but there’s a bit of sadness there.”

McIntosh will join Paul Lawrie, Andrew Oldcorn and Gary Orr in flying the Saltire on the circuit and is hoping to make his presence felt.

“For the last three years, I've play a lot of high-end amateur events with guys that are going to be winning European Tour events," he added.

"It’s been a really good grounding, these young guys have been amazing. They’ve pushed me on to get my golf to the level it’s at now. Without their help, and their competitiveness, I wouldn’t be here right now."

Kiwi Michael Long won the card contest by two shots from McIntosh and Canadian David Morland IV after being the only player to card four consecutive sub-70 rounds.

Englishman Andrew Raitt finished alone in fourth place on 10-under, with Spaniard Carl Suneson securing the fifth and final card in a three-man play-off, beating compatriot Victor Casado and Englishman Gary Marks with a birdie at the first extra hole.

Aberdonian Scott Henderson agonisingly missed out on that shoot-out by a shot after the former European Tour Rookie of the Year signed off with a second consecutive 68.

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Craig Howie sits four shots off the lead after an opening five-under 67 in the Limpopo Championship - the opening event of the 2020 Challenge Tour season - in South Africa.

The Peebles man was out in one-under 35 at Euphoria Golf Club in Modimolle before following an eagle at the 12th with two birdies in the closing six holes.

He sits joint-12th, ending the day as the only player among a seven-strong Scottish contingent to be inside the projected cut.

Ewen Ferguson was next best on 71, followed by Daniel Young (72), Euan Walker (73), Doug McGuigan (74), Bradley Neil (74) and Liam Johnston (75).

On a day dominated by South Africans, Daniel Van Tonder carded am eagle and seven birdies in a bogey-free 63 to lead by two shots.