Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Andrew Coltart improves

chances of avoiding return

trip to Tour School


By Martin Dempster
Andrew Coltart has given himself a fighting chance in his bid to hang on to a European Tour card after securing a top-ten finish in the Castello Masters at the weekend.
The 39-year-old former Ryder Cup player, pictured left, leaped to 124th on the money-list after picking up just over £39,000 for finishing in a tie for eighth place behind Sweden's Michael Jonzon in Spain.
The top 115 at the end of the 2009 tournament season secure their playing privileges for next season but Coltart, who went back to the Tour School just under a year ago to win back his card after finding himself without a full-time place on the circuit for the first time in 16 years, could be fine if he can stay where he is at the moment.

That's down to the fact around 10 players are due to drop off the list as it stands at present because they are either affiliate members like Camilo Villegas and Boo Weekley, or won't play the minimum 12 events required.

While pleased with the cheque he banked on Sunday, Coltart, now based in Edinburgh and a member at Archerfield Links, will be equally delighted that his top-10 finish has earned him a place in this week's Barclays Singapore Open, which carries a $5m prize fund.

Thanks to his top-20 finish in Spain, David Drysdale must surely now be assured of his place in the season-ending Dubai World Championship, the 34-year-old currently lying 42nd on the money-list.

He looks like being the only Scot in that event, though, with Paul Lawrie (78th), Colin Montgomerie (89th), Marc Warren (93rd), Richie Ramsay (95th) and Alastair Forsyth (101st) all still outwith the top 60.

Further down the money-list, it now looks as though Callum Macaulay (131st), Scott Drummond (135th), Steven O'Hara (152nd) and Chris Doak (167th) will all be heading for the Tour School in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, Martin Laird has no such worries on the other side of the Atlantic, the on-form Scot having taken his earnings over the past two weeks to more than £500,000 after following up his win in Las Vegas by tying for 13th in the Frys-com Open in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Sunday.

Laird, who shot a season-best 62 in the third round, has jumped another two places to 106th in the world rankings on the back of that effort but will have to wait a bit before trying to break into the top 100 for the first time as he's not playing in this week's Viking Classic in Mississippi.
+The full article above appears in The Scotsman newspaper.



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