A mix of rookie and experienced professionals, the nine-strong Scottish contingent heading into the golfing marathon that is the final of the European Tour Qualifying School is probably the most exciting group of hopefuls to be flying the Saltire in the event.
Hot on the heels of 21-year-old Bradley Neil earning a step up to the main circuit as a Challenge Tour graduate, the likes of Grant Forrest, Connor Syme, Robert MacIntyre and Ewen Ferguson will be aiming to do likewise at a similarly early stage in their professional careers over the next six days.
Forrest heads into the test at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona on the back of an encouraging first full season on the Challenge Tour; Syme and MacIntyre have both hit the ground running in the paid ranks while Ferguson received a timely boost as he finished runner-up in one of the second-stage events at El Saler.
On the back of Neil’s achievement, it really would be fantastic for Scottish golf if, at the very least, another player under 25 earned a coveted card and that quartet will be relishing this test, even though, Forrest apart, it will be a first taste of the final stage.
While most eyes, understandably, will probably be on Syme and MacIntyre on the strength that they seem to have made the transition from amateur to pro without breaking their stride, it could just as easily be Scott Henry, Duncan Stewart, Chris Doak, David Law or Ross Kellett getting in the card mix when the event reaches the business end next Thursday.
Henry, who finished joint-second at a different venue, PGA Catalunya, 12 months ago, is trying to regain his playing privileges, as are Stewart and Doak, while Law and Kellett have been here before so know what is required in one of the toughest tests in golf.
On the ladies’ front, Michele Thomson shot a two-under 70 to sit joint-tenth, three behind leader Marianne Skarpnord from Norway, after the opening round of the Hero Women’s Indian Open at DLF Golf & Country Club in Gurgaon.
Meanwhile, Scottish Golf’s public meeting on 2 December has been switched from Stirling to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre to “accommodate extra demand for attendance”. The meeting is open to everyone provided they register in advance at www.scottishgolf.