Jimmy Gunn has revealed he overcame personal grief to secure a full card for next season’s web.com Tour, the only route these days on to the PGA Tour.
The 35-year-old from Dornoch was speaking after securing a place on America’s second-tier circuit by finishing joint 21st at the four-round Qualifying School at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Gunn, who closed with a 71 for a four-under-par total of 282, was the only European to secure a card by finishing among the top 45 and ties, succeeding where the likes of Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez Castano failed.
“This means the world to me,” he told The Scotsman. “My grandmother died last week and I could’t make the funeral due to the fact I was preparing for the finals. My gran wouldn’t have wanted me to fly home and interrupt my practice, but it was a very tough time for me as I was very close to my grandparents. So this was for her.”
The success followed Gunn qualifying for this year’s US Open then finishing in the top 30 behind Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay. “It’s been a great year, but this means the most,” he added.
Emiliano Grillo and Smylie Kaufman, both recent winners on the PGA Tour’s wraparound schedule, graduated from the feeder circuit, as, of course, did Russell Knox and Martin Laird. “That’s the goal,” replied Gunn to being asked if he could join his two compatriots at the top table.
Another Scot celebrating a card success is Daniel Young after he finished joint-14th in the Alps Tour Qualifying School at La Cala Resort in southern Spain.
Young, beaten finalist in this year’s Scottish Amateur Championship at Muirfield, entered the event as an amateur but that is only so that he doesn’t have to pass up on the opportunity to play in next month’s BMW South African Open.
The Craigie Hill player earned his spot in that event through winning the South African Amateur Championship early this year and would be forced to give it up if he joined the paid ranks before then.
Instead, Young will make that move immediately afterwards then start preparing for a full playing schedule on the third-tier Alps Tour.