Scots duo clinch European Tour cards

Chris Doak finished with a flourish in Puglia. Picture: Phil Inglis
Chris Doak finished with a flourish in Puglia. Picture: Phil Inglis
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The European Tour will have at least two more Scottish players next year after Chris Doak and Scott Henry both secured their cards for the 2013 Race to Dubai at the European Challenge Tour’s season-ending Apulia San Domenico Grand Final in south-east Italy.

But there was heartbreak for Raymond Russell, who suffered the disappointment of missing out on a card by just one place as he ended the season in 22nd spot in the rankings. The 40 year old rallied with four birdies in the back nine to card a two under par 69, but that was not enough as he finished tied 14th for the tournament.

Doak and Henry both managed to finish in the top 11 in the rankings, which receive a more favourable category for the European Tour next year, with Henry dropping to 11th and Doak remaining in tenth place.

Doak finished with a flourish in the season finale, carding three birdies on the back nine to sign for a two-under 69 to share seventh place on 13-under par.

It brings to an end a superb season for the Greenock man, who claimed his first victory at the Allianz Open de Lyon, and he is now looking forward to returning to The European Tour a much better player than in 2009. “I was confident going into the final round,” said the 34-year-old. “I got off to a good start and birdied the second, and then the rain came in. It affected the whole group but I managed to get around that one over, and then three under on the back nine.

“I can’t ask for more than that. It has been a really pleasing year. It’s taken me a few years to get my card back and I have learned a lot in those four years, working with Bob Torrance all the way through and I put it all down to him.

“I’m definitely a better player now and I feel like I can compete. My first year on The European Tour I was a little bit wet behind the ears but I am looking forward to next year.”

Henry, meanwhile, was disappointed with his performafter a three-over par 74 left him tied 39th, but it was still enough to hang on to a top 11 spot. “I’m really looking forward to next year, whatever happened this week,” said the 25-year-old Glasgow man, whose win at the lucrative Kazakhstan Open was crucial in his rankings position. “To be competing against the best players is a very exciting thing for me.”