Sunday, November 10, 2013



Alastair Forsyth, pictured, spearheaded a Tartan Army of 10 with a five-under-par round of 65 over the shorter Tour Course when the European Tour Final
Qualifying School's six-round tournament began at PGA Catalunya Golf Resort near Girona in North-east Spain today (Sunday).
Only the top 25 and ties at the end of the pressure-packed, stamina-sapping golfing marathon will gain playing rights on the lucrative European Tour next season. 
Andrew McArthur, with a 66, and George Murray, a 67, both on the Tour Course, also made the good start essential to have any chance of qualifying from a field of 156 who will be cut to leading 70 and ties after 72 holes. The last two rounds will be played over the Staidum Course.
But, at the other end of the scoreboard, former PGA champion Scott Drummond and Raymond Russell, who had played so well in his Stage 2 event a few days ago in Spain, have dimmed their prospects with rounds of 75 and 76, respectively, both scores on the longer, par-72 Stadium Course.
Forsyth, winner of the 1999 Final Q School, had seven birdies, including three 2s in halves of 33-32. He did bogey the third and fifth after starting birdie-birdie but covered his remaining holes in five under par.
McArthur also shrugged off an early bogey to be four under par for his last 14 holes, finishing strongly for a 66 with birdies at the short 16th and long 18th.
Murray's 67 also included just one bogey and he covered his last 13
holes with two birdies and 11 pars.
Jack Doherty was the leading Scot on the Stadium Course with a
four-under 68 which included a bag of six birdies, five of them between the 12th and 17th.
Duncan Stewart's two-under 68 over the Tour Course featured birdie 2s at the 14th and 16th in an inward 33.
Clydeside-born South African-based Doug McGuigan returned a one-under 71 over the Stadium Course, in a steady round of two birdies, one bogey and 15 pars.
Neil Fenwick and Scott Henry both shot two-over 72s over the Tour
Course, Fenwick standing three over par after only seven holes, thanks to a double bogey 5 at the short fifth and a bogey 6 at the long seventh. He perked up with birdies at the ninth and 10th but let it slide away from him again with bogeys at the 11th, 12th and 13th.
Henry had the proverbial game of two halves. He took five-over 40 shots to the turn and then came sailing home in 32 with an eagle 3 at the 18th and birdies at the 10th, 11th and 16thg. Pity about two more bogeys, at the 13th and 15th.
Drummond's three-over 75 had two birdies and five bogeys while Russell's 76 saw him endure a demoralising run over five over par from the fifth to the 14th, including a double bogey 7 at the long 12th.

PGA Catalunya Golf Resort, Girona, Spain
Leading first-round scores
Par 72 Yardage 7,333
66 Jens Dantorp (Swe)
68 Jack Doherty (Sco), Stuart Manley (Wal), James Watts (Eng).
69 Wade Ormsb y (Aus), Simon Wakefield (Eng), Brandon Stone (SAf), Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe), Mikael Lundberg (Swe))
70 Jason Knutzon (US), Ruaidhri McGee (Ir), Espen Kofstad (Nor)

71 Doug McGuigan (Sco).
72 Gareth Wright (Wal)
75 Scott Drummond (Sco)
76 Raymond Russell (Sco).

Par 70 Yardage 6,610
62 Edouard Espana (Fra)
64 Tain Lee (US), Richard Finch (Eng), Jamie Elson (Eng), Michael Jonzon (Swe), Thomas Pieters (Ger).
65 William Harrold (Eng), Lucas Bjerregard (Den), Joakim Legergren (Swe), David Brooks (Eng), Alastair Forsyth (Sco).
66 Patrick Sjoland (Swe), Rikard Karlberg (Swe), Niklas Lemke (Swe), Jason Barnes (Eng), Estanislao Goya (Arg), John Hatton (Eng), Fabrizio Zanotti (Par), Adam Gee (Eng), Andrew McArthur (Sco), Agustin Domingo (Spa)

67 George Murray.
68 Duncan Stewart.
72 Neil Fenwick, Scott Henry. 


Edouard Espana got his European Tour Qualifying School Final 
Stage campaign off to the perfect start as the Frenchman led the 
field by two thanks to an eight under opening round of 62 at PGA 
Catalunya Resort, outside Girona in Spain.

Behind the 24 year old is a bevy of top talent on six under par, after 
a day in which the flat calm conditions and mild temperatures 
allowed for some low scoring in north eastern Spain.

It has been a strong season for the Bordeaux man, who finished 
second in the Order of Merit on the satellite Alps Tour thanks to 
two victories, which included one at the season-ending tour 
championship less than a month ago.

As a result, Espana has a Challenge Tour card sewn up for 2014, 
and having advanced through the second stage of qualifying at Valle 
Romano last week thanks to a tie for fourth place, he sees this week 
as a great opportunity to show the improvement he has made in his 
game and make the step-up to The European Tour.

“I started on the tenth today and shot three under for the first nine 
holes and five under on the back nine,” he said. “It was a very good 
day, I played very well, stayed focussed and my putting was good so 
I’m very happy. The Tour course was perfect and really suited my 
game. It’s a perfect start.

“My second place on the Alps Tour this season gave me a lot of 
confidence for this tournament, and I won the last tournament 
of the season so it gave me big boost.

“It is just a great opportunity for me this week, to try and earn a 
European Tour card. It is a real bonus. My game is progressing all 
the time, it has been much better this year and I just have to stay 
patient. That’s the key this week.”

One of the stand-out names two strokes adrift of Espana in a tie for 
second is two time European Tour winner Richard Finch, who like 
the Frenchman went bogey free on the Tour Course on Sunday.

Playing six rounds in a week is always going to be a draining 
experience, but the Englishman has been careful not to wear himself 
out in the build-up to this event, and he is therefore more than 
happy with such a strong start.

“I would have happily taken that,” admitted the 2008 Irish Open 
winner. “It was nice to get out there as the weather was superb with 
not a breath of wind, and it was great to get a good round on the 
board to start with and I’ll try and continue that.

“You approach this week the same you would most events, except 
you try not to do too much and wear yourself into the ground on 
the practice days. 
"You want to know the courses, know everything about everywhere 
and do all your research, but you can’t spend days and days walking 
golf courses and hours and hours on the practice ground.

“You’ve just got to train it before you arrive, trust it and play 
without thinking too much, then just play one round at a time and 
go from there.”

Also in the group at six under par is Sweden’s Jens Dantorp, 
whose 66 was the best round of the day on the par 72 Stadium 
Course, to finish in a strong position at the end of the opening 

Also in a tie for second on the same mark as Dantorp are England’s 
Jamie Elson, America’s Tain Lee, fellow Swede Michael Jonzon 
and Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, all of whom carded their rounds of 
64 on the par-70 Tour Course lay-out.

One of the five players a shot further adrift is another two time 
European Tour winner, Alistair Forsyth. The Scot has a good track 
record at this event, having won it back in 1999 en route to a 
European Tour debut the following year.
Two courses (par 70 Tour Course and par 72 Stadium Course) are being used. They are all lumped together in this scoreboard

62 E Espana (Fra) 
64 M Jonzon (Swe) ; T Pieters  (Bel) ; J Elson  (Eng) ; R Finch  (Eng) ; T Lee (USA) 

65 J Lagergren (Swe) ; L Bjerregaard  (Den) ; W Harrold (Eng) ; D Brooks (Eng) ; A Forsyth (Sco) 

66 J Barnes (Eng) ; F Zanotti (Par) ; C Hanson (Eng) ; O Stark (Swe) ; A Gee  (Eng) ; E Goya (Arg) ; R Karlberg  (Swe) ; N Lemke (Swe) ; J Hahn (USA) ; J Dantorp (Swe) ; A McArthur  (Sco) ; P Sjöland (Swe) ; A Domingo (Esp) 

67 D Kemmer (USA) ; A Johnston (Eng) ; M Tullo (Chi) ; J Timmis (Eng) ; G Murray  (Sco) ; C Monasterio (Arg) ; A Hartø  (Den) ; C Paisley  (Eng) ; D Higgins (Irl) ; M Lorenzo-Vera  (Fra) ; C Del Moral (Esp) 

68 N Quintarelli (Ita) ; D Stewart (Sco) ; J Doherty  (Sco) ; W Besseling  (Ned) ; J Watts (Eng) ; J Lucquin (Fra) ; T Whitehouse  (Eng) ; H Leon (Chi) ; A Haig (RSA) ; B Dredge (Wal) ; S Manley (Wal) ; T Sluiter  (Ned) ; C Shinkwin (am) (Eng) ; D McElroy (am) (Nir) ;

69 D Gavins (Eng) ; D Vancsik (Arg) ; T Linard (Fra) ; M Hensby (Aus) ; W Ormsby (Aus) ; P Hedblom (Swe) ; O Wilson (Eng) ; K Benz (Sui) ; S Wakefield (Eng) ; M Korhonen (Fin) ; N Ravano (Ita) ; L Bond (Wal) ; J Edfors (Swe) ; F Andersson Hed (Swe) ; J Heath  (Eng) ; B Stone (RSA) ; M Lundberg (Swe) ;

70 B Paolini (USA) ; D Im (USA) ; J Knutzon (USA) ; R McGee (Irl) ; M Delpodio  (Ita) ; R Pettersson (Swe) ; E Kofstad (Nor) ; C Dammert (am) (Ger) ;

71 G Stal  (Fra) ; M Wiegele  (Aut) ; A Marshall (Eng) ; K Pratt (Aus) ; B Henson (USA) ; M Lafeber (Ned) ; S Hodgson (Eng) ; A Dodt (Aus) ; M Orrin (Eng) ; J Fahrbring (Swe) ; E Cole (USA) ; A Saddier (Fra) ; D McGuigan (Sco) ; B An (Kor) ; J Robinson (Eng) ; M Crespi  (Ita) ; G Cambis  (Fra) ; T Nørret (Den) ; Z Scotland  (Eng) ; B Evans  (Eng) ; R Davies (Wal) ; K Ferrie (Eng) ;

72 O Fisher  (Eng) ; S Henry  (Sco) ; J Morrison  (Eng) ; J Fly (USA) ; C Arendell (USA) ; V Phillips (Eng) ; F Fritsch  (Ger) ; N Fenwick (Sco) ; O Floren  (Swe) ; A Garcia-Heredia (Esp) ; K Horne (RSA) ; J Huldahl (Den) ; I Garrido (Esp) ; C Suneson (Esp) ; P Archer (Eng) ; G Lockerbie  (Eng) ; M Zions (Aus) ; T Van Der Walt (RSA) ; G Wright  (Wal) ;

73 G Main (USA) ; A Maestroni  (Ita) ; P Martin Benavides (Esp) ; N Nissen (Den) ; O Bekker (RSA) ; C Bouniol (Fra) ; D Dixon (Eng) ; K Phelan (Irl) ; P Edberg (Swe) ; C Ortiz  (Mex) ; N Dougherty  (Eng) ; J Ahlers (RSA) ; J Guerrier  (Fra) ; J Granberg  (Fin) ; D Popovic (Aus) 

74 P Price (Wal) ; M Brier (Aut) ; L Gagli  (Ita) ; A Bernadet  (Fra) ; O Lieser (Cze) ; R Steiner (Aut) ; A Björk (Swe) ; J Lara (Esp) ;

75 L Goddard  (Eng) ; E Dubois (Fra) ; S Arnold  (Aus) ; S Drummond (Sco) ; Y Tsukada (Jpn) ; M Grönberg (Swe) ; B Åkesson (Swe) 

76 J Bäckström (Swe) ; B Ritthammer (Ger) ; R Russell (Sco) ; J Lando Casanova  (Fra) 

77 O Henningsson  (Swe) ; A McLardy (RSA) ; D Ulrich (Sui) ; R McGowan  (Eng) ; J Rask (Swe) ; J Sjöholm (Swe) ;

79 A Kaleka  (Fra) 





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