American Jeb Stuart makes flying start with
63 at Euro Senior Tour Q School Stage One
An American who sounds as though his forefathers came from Scotland, Jeb Stuart, made an impressive start to the European Senior Tour Qualifying School Stage One today, shooting a seven under par 63 to take a three-stroke lead at Silves Golf Course at Pestana Golf Resort on Portugal’s Algarve.
Stuart is one of 150 hopefuls aiming to earn their playing rights on the 2010 European Senior Tour, with half the field playing 36 holes over the Silves Course and the other half battling it out on the Gramacho Course, also part of the Pestana Golf Resort.
Twenty-seven players from each course will qualify for the 72-hole Final Stage at Pestana’s Vale da Pinta from November 16-19 and will be joined by 18 exempt players.
Englishman Steve Cipa carded a 66 to sit three shots behind Stuart, alongside Spain’s José Davila. Two players – Mark Belsham and Adan Sowa – are three under, while Mike Donald, who lost a play-off to Hale Irwin for the 1990 US Open, shot a two under par 68.
On the Gramacho Course, England’s John Harrison fired a four under 68 to lead by one from compatriots John King and Stephen East and South Africa’s Steve van Vuuren.
The players will all be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Ireland’s Jimmy Heggarty and South African Bertus Smit, who finished first and second at last year’s Senior Tour Qualifying School and have gone on to enjoy fine years on the Senior Tour in 2009.
Smit won the Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open – his maiden title – and finished tenth on the Order of Merit, while Heggarty continued his form from Qualifying School when he finished second in the season-opening Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum, which helped him to 27th place in the final rankings.
For the graduates, the new season will begin with a pre-Christmas trip to Mauritius for the inaugural Mauritius Commercial Bank Open from December 11-13, 2009.
SCOREBOARD TO COME