Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Duncan Stewart heading for European Tour 

promotion in 2017

Duncan Stewart arrived at Terre dei Consoli Golf Club, Italy for this week's Challenge Tour event  in high spirits after a tied fourth finish in the Kazakhstan Open all-but secured his European Tour card for next season.
The Scot, who won the Challenge de Madrid at the start of the 2016 Road to Oman, has now earned 93,950 points to sit in eighth spot in the Rankings with five events to go.

Dunc The 32 year old would be forgiven for now easing off a bit – indeed, a lengthy and well-deserved celebration followed his result in Almaty – but he is now targeting further good results, starting at this week’s Terre dei Consoli Open, to keep climbing the Rankings.
“I would think I’m there now,” he said. “It’s one of those ones where I’d be very surprised if, even if I missed the cut in the next four events and came last at the Grand Final, I’d be at about 97,000 so something would have to go bizarrely wrong not to finish in the top 15.
“But it’s not entirely job done, and I want to finish as high up as possible because there’s obviously a few events where if you’re in the top five you’ll get in but otherwise maybe not, so there’s still a bit of work to be done.
“In Kazakhstan, I played alright on Saturday in perfect conditions and then on Sunday it was just like a December day in Scotland, it was brutal, and I played great – I was hating every second of it but sometimes you just get your head down and get on with it, and go back to what you grew up playing in.
“I just played well at the right time, and it’s the right event to play well in – I picked up almost the same amount of money as I did from winning in Madrid, so it’s huge.
“I didn’t really do too much before this final stretch. I had a couple of weeks at home and just tried to keep things ticking over but I tried to relax as much as possible because I knew these six weeks were going to be pretty big.
“I was trying to get the job done in Kazakhstan but you never know what’s going to happen – to get that done was great, and the celebrations on Sunday were maybe a little bit over the top, but after the last two years and the way I’ve played, it’s a big relief.
“I thought top seven in Kazakhstan would get me to what was enough in my head – I thought 85,000, which is five grand more than the last couple of years, would be enough.
“But you just never know in this game, it depends who goes and wins. I’m definitely past the number that I thought so the aim now is to finish as high as possible, maybe even win the Rankings – there’s a lot of big events left, so top five is definitely the goal now.”

Dunc Standing in Stewart’s way this week is the testing Terre dei Consoli course on the outskirts of Rome, with length off the tee looking like it will be an important asset.
Though that is not the Spey Valley native’s strength, he will nonetheless draw on good memories of the Challenge Tour’s last visit to Italy, where opening rounds of 66 and 67 put him in contention at the Montecchia Open by Lyoness
“The course looks like a bit of a beast,” he said. “That doesn’t really suit my game, but last week was long too and it went alright.
“The pressure’s not as high as it has been, so that could work in my favour to just go out there and be relaxed, and hopefully put some more points on the board and move up a few more spots.
“I played well in Montecchia but just fell away in the last few holes, so I quite like coming to Italy, if it stays sunny like this, but hopefully I can have another good week.”



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