Friday, December 09, 2011


 THE WAY THEY WERE: Scott Drummond, born in Shropshire, played for the England team that included Lee Westwood (centre, front row) and won the boys' home internationals' title at Montrose in 1991. Drummond's parents are Scottish and he opted to be a "Scot" when he turned pro. We think that's him on the left of the back row. Image by Cal Carson Golf Agency.

Scott Drummond. Remember him? Seven years ago, the Shropshire-born Scotsman was top of the class after winning the European Tour's flagship PGA Championship at Wentworth.
This weekend, the 37-year-old is back re-sitting the main circuit's entry examination again as he strives to recapture the glory days in the 108-hole Qualifying School final, which begins tomorrow, at PGA Golf de Catalunya near Girona.
While Mother Nature's fearsome hissy fit yesterday closed most of the schools in this part of the world, there will be plenty of golfing pupils out in Spain wishing they could skip class too.
For those who have dined at the top table, the humbling drop back into the dreaded Q-School is a bit like rummaging through the bins for scraps.
Drummond has certainly enjoyed the high life – his 2004 PGA win left him ranked 23rd in Europe with earnings of almost €1m – but it's been a slow, downward spiral since those heady times.
The former rookie of the year's category was so low during the 2011 campaign that he was offered a mere seven starts on the main circuit and a similar number on the second-tier Challenge Tour. Given the fact that he managed to make just two cuts from those events, you'd expect the Devon-based golfer's morale to be at an all-time low ahead of the draining, six-round marathon.
Yet Drummond's determination to haul himself out of the doldrums, allied to the inspiration he still gets from that memorable PGA triumph, continues to be a source of positivity.
"It's been another very difficult year with hardly any opportunities, but the Qualifying School is a chance for me to turn it all around," said the two-time Challenge Tour winner, ahead of the grim battle for 30 tour cards up for grabs. "There's been nothing to build on this season but I'm still working as hard as ever. It has been very hard for me to accept the position I'm now in but in my heart I believe I'm a better player now than at any time. I just have to get through this week and prove that on the tour next season.
"Everyone keeps reminding me of 2004 and it is something I have to use as inspiration. I got myself in a position then and I handled myself under serious pressure. I feel comfortable at that level and I know I can do it. Yes, I've had my struggles, but the drive is still there and I still have some good years to come."
Drummond, who chipped in from 25 yards on the last hole of the 2009 Qualifying School final to squeeze into the all-important top-30, is one of nine Scots hoping to earn pass marks in north-east Spain.
Alastair Forsyth, the two-time tour winner who finished in 140th place on the money list this season, returns to the scramble for the second year in a row while Steven O'Hara, 131st on the order of merit, also has to regain his playing privileges the hard way.
Lloyd and Elliot Saltman, who became the first brothers to successfully come through the same qualifier 12 months ago, find themselves back in the mix again while Callum Macaulay and Alan McLean, who shared second place in the stage two shoot-out in Murcia earlier this week, will tee-up in good spirits. Gary Orr and Chris Doak make up the home posse on the attendance register.



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